Research leader

Morgan Harding Research Leader

Research team

Dr Darren Turner Research Team
Dr Grant Williamson Research Team
Scott Nichols Research Team
Prof David Bowman Research Team

In the summer of 2015-2016 several large dry lightning storms ignited wildfires that burned across Western Tasmanian landscapes desiccated by the combination of severe spring drought and above average summer temperatures. Approximately 20,000 ha of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area burnt including Sphagnum moss communities, or ‘sphagnum bogs’, and other significant areas of high conservation value Gondwanan refugia. The scale of the fires prompted the Tasmanian government to fund research in techniques to rehabilitate fire-impacted Gondwanan refugia, including sphagnum bogs, in the Lake Mackenzie area of the Northern Central Plateau.

The primary objective of this study was to investigate the efficacy of using ultra-high resolution unmanned aerial systems visible spectrum imagery to map the severity and area burned of sphagnum bogs by the 2016 Lake Mackenzie fire. The maps are validated against ground cover and fire severity assessments of permanent plots to identify factors affecting mapping accuracy. Based on the research we provide recommendations for future UAS surveys of fire impacted sphagnum bogs.