Producers are plants that are at the bottom of all terrestrial food chains, and store energy from the sun in the chemical bonds within their molecules. This energy is transferred up the food chain by consumption, creating a complex food web in which each species has links to several others, either as a predator or a prey species.

Fundamental to the functioning of ecosystems is the recycling of nutrients such as carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus. When organisms die, they in turn are consumed by decomposers that break down the organic matter and return the nutrients to either the soil, or the atmosphere.

Within a forest ecosystem, there is a substantial quantity of dead material, and an extensive population of decomposers. In the wet eucalypt forests of southern Tasmania, for example, there are over 1200 species of wood-eating beetles and roughly the same number of fungi, whereas there are just 21 different mammal species.

Fire is one of the dominant abiotic (non-living) factors in forest ecosystems, so many of the non-rainforest producers have developed adaptations to encourage rapid regrowth after fire events. These include dormant buds called lignotubers located at the base of the trunk, and epicormic buds which lie under the bark at intervals up the trunk. These are stimulated to sprout and grow if the leaf canopy of the tree is removed, providing a rapid response to fire events and allowing the tree to resume photosynthesising within days. Thick bark also provides a natural defence from the heat of the fire.

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Biodiversity within forests

Forest fast facts and information on biodiversity.

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Conservation fact sheet

Information on forest conservation reserves, old growth forests and forest dwelling species.

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Eucalypts and Fire

This resource discusses the adaption for survival from fire of various species of eucalypts.  Features including lignotubers, root systems, epicormic buds and hard woody capsules are discussed.

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Fire and the Tasmanian Forest

The present - day patterning of Tasmania’s forest and plant communities is the result of changes in climate, soil fertility and the interplays between humans, fire and vegetation over many thousands of years. Fire – both naturally occurring wildfire and burning by humans – has been of great significance over the last 10,000 years since the end of the last glaciation. This resrouces explores this further.

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Forest Photos

Different photos of forestry and the industry.

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Forestry Matters!

Forestry matters! is a free, comprehensive education resource that provides teachers with relevant,  up-to-date information about South Australia’s forests.

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Managing biodiversity in Victoria's native forests

An important part of sustainably managing Victoria’s forests is ensuring the protection of biological diversity, including threatened species and their habitat. Find out more.

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Pests and diseases

Types of pests and diseases and different techniques for pest control.

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Protecting Victoria’s Flora and Fauna

The 7.8 million hectares1 of native forest in Victoria are home to variety of plants and animals.The vast majority of these forests, almost 90%, are unavailable or unsuitable for timber harvesting operations. Find out about protecting Victoria's flora and fauna.

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Rainforest fact sheet

Find out more about Australian rainforests and their uses.

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Warra Tall Eucalypt Scientific Supersite

This resource explores the long term Econlogical Resaerch site Warra which trails various systems such as alternative silvicultural systems, log emergence traps, water studies and wildfire reference sites.

Water and landscape

Good land and water management mean that forest plantations can be maintained in an environmentally-sustainable manner. Find out how this is done in South Australia.

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What is a forest?

Find out more about what is a forest, forest biodiversity and forest habitats.

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Cumberland State Forest Tour - Carbon Science Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet

This lesson plan takes Yr 7-10 Science students through the Cumberland State Forest. The outcomes of the lesson is a recognition that living things depend upon each other and on their environments.

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Cumberland State Forest tour- Yr 11 Earth and Environmental Science

This lesson plan takes Year 11 Earth Science students through the Cumberland State Forest.  The focus is on the local environment and the properties of local soils affect the local biological environment.
 
Students learn to:

  • Analyse the ways in which the vegetation of an area can be influenced by soil composition and climate
  • Relate the presence of particular animals in the local environment to their requirements within the local environment.
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Cumberland State Forest Tour - Yr 11 Geography Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet

This lesson plan takes Year 11 Geography students through the Cumberland State Forest. The focus is on a geographical investigation of biophysical processes and how an understanding of these processes contributes to sustainable management.
Outcomes for the student include:

  • P2 describes the interactions between the four components which define the biophysical environment
  • P3 explains how a specific environment functions in terms of biophysical factors
  • P6 identifies the vocational relevance of a geographical perspective
  • P7 formulates a plan for active geographical inquiry
  • P8 selects, organises and analyses relevant geographical information from a variety of sources
  • P9 uses maps, graphs and statistics, photographs and fieldwork to conduct geographical inquiries
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Cumberland State Forest Tour - Yr 7 Geography Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet

This lesson plan takes Year 7 Geography students through the Cumberland State Forest.  Curriculum outcomes for students include:
4.1 identifies and gathers geographical information
4.4 uses a range of geographical tools
4.6 describes the geographical processes that form and transform environments
4.8 describes the interrelationships between people and environments.

Cumberland State Forest Tour Yr 9 Geography Lesson Plan and Worksheet

This lesson plan and worksheet takes Year 9 Geography students through the Cumberland State Forest. Students will understand ways in which geographical understanding contributes to the sustainable management of sites affecting the Australian environment.
Outcomes
A student:
5.1 identifies, gathers and evaluates geographical information
5.4 selects and applies appropriate geographical tools
5.5 demonstrates a sense of place about Australian environments
5.6 explains the geographical processes that form and transform Australian environments
5.7 analyses the impacts.

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Earth Alive by Planet Ark

Earth Alive is a 10 week actionbased science unit of work suitable for students in Years 5 & 6 focusing on authentic scientific investigation resulting in local action. The program investigates biodiversity in the school grounds and culminates in a Schools Tree Day planting action project.

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Forest ecosystems lesson plan

Lesson plan for forest ecosystems.

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Forestry Fun

Activity booklet with loads of games, puzzles and activities for students.

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Forestry Matters!

Forestry matters! is a free, comprehensive education resource that provides teachers with relevant,  up-to-date information about South Australia’s forests.

To download this file

Going Bush - A biodiversity melting pot in Northern NSW - Worksheet & answers

Student worksheet and sample answers to accompany the Going Bush video that looks at the biodiversity rich forests of Northern NSW. Students get to see how bat traps are used to survey species in the multi-aged native forests, and how these forests are used for multiple uses including timber production, recreation and biodiversity conservation.

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High School activity book

Activities and lesson plans for year 7-10 students.

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iPad App- Wildlife Detective

Forest Corporation of NSW has just launched ‘Wildlife Detective’, a free iPad app game that takes pre and primary school children on a search for threatened species. The app, which has been developed as part of Forest Corporation of NSW education program, helps explain the important work undertaken by Forest Corporation of NSW prior to harvest operations. Designed for pre and primary school children, it allows the player to be a forest ecologist – or wildlife detective – identifying forest animals in a virtual survey.

Planet Ark - Schools Tree day

Each year in July, around 2500 schools across Australia take part in Schools Tree Day. Students nation-wide have learnt how to plant, and care for the seedlings they grow. Become involved.

Primary school activity book

Activities and lesson plans for year 3-6 students.

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Wild Forest Adventure Activity Book

Wild Forest Adventure is an activity based companion booklet especially designed for use with the Forests NSW website.

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Wild Forest Adventure online game

The Wild Forest Adventure section has been especially designed for students, to provide interesting and relevant information about the forest environment, in a stimulating and fun way.

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Biodiversity Wild

This brief video introduces the concept of biodiversity in terms of all living things on earth and their genetic diversity. It suggests there is a continued loss of biodiversity on earth, and discusses reasons we should protect against this loss and measures we can take.

Climate change and forestry

Discover more about climate change and forestry at LandLearn NSW.

Forestry Matters! website

Forestry matters! is a free, comprehensive education resource that provides teachers with relevant,  up-to-date information about South Australia’s forests.

iPad App- Wildlife Detective

Forest Corporation of NSW has just launched ‘Wildlife Detective’, a free iPad app game that takes pre and primary school children on a search for threatened species. The app, which has been developed as part of Forest Corporation of NSW education program, helps explain the important work undertaken by Forest Corporation of NSW prior to harvest operations. Designed for pre and primary school children, it allows the player to be a forest ecologist – or wildlife detective – identifying forest animals in a virtual survey.

Planet Ark's carbon sequestration video

Video to showcase the role of trees in carbon sequestration, developed by Planet Ark

To watch this video

Planet Ark - Schools Tree day

Each year in July, around 2500 schools across Australia take part in Schools Tree Day. Students nation-wide have learnt how to plant, and care for the seedlings they grow. Become involved.

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Biodiversity Wild

This brief video introduces the concept of biodiversity in terms of all living things on earth and their genetic diversity. It suggests there is a continued loss of biodiversity on earth, and discusses reasons we should protect against this loss and measures we can take.

Going Bush - A biodiversity melting pot in Northern NSW

Explore the biodiversity of Coffs Harbour in NSW where tropical and temperate forests meet, throwing up a Noah's Ark of flora and fauna. It means scientists in these parts have hundreds of critters to study and consider when planning for forest operations. We do a bit of bat hunting as part of the study of forest biodiversity and look out over Coffs Harbour from a spanking new lookout.

To watch this video

Going Bush - A biodiversity melting pot in Northern NSW - Worksheet & answers

Student worksheet and sample answers to accompany the Going Bush video that looks at the biodiversity rich forests of Northern NSW. Students get to see how bat traps are used to survey species in the multi-aged native forests, and how these forests are used for multiple uses including timber production, recreation and biodiversity conservation.

To download this file

Going Bush - Rice Grass

Nick and Andy head to Port Sorell to investigate the impact of the introduced species, Rice Grass.

To watch this video

Going Bush - Studying the waters of Southern NSW

In Southern New South Wales one of Australia’s longest running testing regimes for water quality is itself put to the test, with scientists saying evidence suggests measures put in place to minimise impact from forestry activity on water catchments is working.

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Going Bush - The shy creatures of East Gippsland forests

The noctural life of the mysterious and rare mammmal the long footed poteroo. Hear a scientific explanation of how the poteroo likes the regenerating forests of East Gippsland just as much as untouched bushland.

To watch this video

iPad App- Wildlife Detective

Forest Corporation of NSW has just launched ‘Wildlife Detective’, a free iPad app game that takes pre and primary school children on a search for threatened species. The app, which has been developed as part of Forest Corporation of NSW education program, helps explain the important work undertaken by Forest Corporation of NSW prior to harvest operations. Designed for pre and primary school children, it allows the player to be a forest ecologist – or wildlife detective – identifying forest animals in a virtual survey.

Planet Ark's carbon sequestration video

Video to showcase the role of trees in carbon sequestration, developed by Planet Ark

To watch this video

Wild Forest Adventure online game

The Wild Forest Adventure section has been especially designed for students, to provide interesting and relevant information about the forest environment, in a stimulating and fun way.

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