We have just received an update from Susanna Venn on her G-TREE site in Victoria, Australia, where the field season has just ended:
"The Mt Hotham site is now in place! With gorgeous views out towards the Victorian Alps including Mt Feathertop and Mt Buffalo, the site is close (10-30m) to the old, gnarled Snowgums at the treeline on the south-western side of the Mt Hotham summit. The Snowgums at treeline here are probably 200 years+, and there is little evidence of any recent recruitment events with very few if any seedlings or saplings to speak of. Given that Snowgum can re-sprout from a basal lignotuber in order to produce a multi-stemmed habit, it's likely that the individuals present re-sprouted after the major bushfires that occurred in 1939. The G-TREE seed addition experiment will hopefully complement what we already know about Snowgum regeneration; the seeds need a cold stratification period to break their physiological dormancy; recruitment in the field is often highly variable, unpredictable and rarely matches the high (90%) laboratory germination rates. Three months of snow cover will provide the necessary cold stratification, and now we'll wait until the next snow-free season (October - April) to see how many, if any, seeds have germinated."
Another G-TREE site installed!
Here in the Northern Hemisphere, G-TREE collaborators are gearing up for the first summer of seedling surveys in our distributed experiment, and the second summer of seeding trials. Here's to another successful field season!