Franklin Fungi Forest Blog

Surveying the fungi found within 9.5 acres of privately owned tall, wet eucalyptus forest in the Huon Valley.

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Tasmanian Leatherwood flowers - Franklin, Huon Valley
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Collybia eucalyptorum
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Franklin Fungi Forest Blog

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The Land

An area of 3.8 ha/9.5 acres of privately owned land, is located on a south facing slope in the hills west of Franklin at around 410-430m above sea level. On the acidic (pH 5-6), clay loam soils, known as Kermandie Soils, they are formed from Jurassic dolerite, grows a mixed, tall wet eucalypt forest with an amazing diversity of life existing within it.

Soils Brown Layer - deposited about 10 - 70 thousand years ago, during the Last Glacial (Laffan & McIntosh 2005).

Soils Red Layer - The red colour of the soils is indicative of in situ weathering of the Jurassic dolerite and the alteration of the dolerite to clays occurring over thousands of years during the relatively warmer interglacial period 70 - 130 thousand years ago (Laffan & McIntosh 2005).

The property is regularly explored, with at least one area being observed each week, and often 2-3 times per week if there is a lot happening on the fungi front - particularly during autumn months. The walking tracks run from the Twin Towers or Russula Track, all the way up to the Sentinel, on the other side of the rivulet which runs through the centre (Heart) of the property.

Twin Towers Track - Two old growth Eucalyptus obliqua mark the start of this track, through deep leaf litter and Amanita territory.

Russula and Inocybe Track - Turning right at the Twin Towers, this walk explores mossy, dogwood, mytle and sassafras habitat with appearances by a brown spored Russula. Following this track connects up to the Twin Towers track. 

Creek Track - Descending to the lowest part of the property where the natural spring emerges from underground and tall Leatherwood trees drop their beautiful flowers.

Bolete Corner - Just past the creek in the moss beds is a great place for finding Boletes

Top Paddock Track - This track takes you back up towards the top of the property to a cleared and regenerating area dominated by Acacia and Leptospermum.

The Sentinel Track - Walking west from the top paddock, this track takes you into the heart of the property and right past the biggest tree on the property - The Sentinel, a majestic Eucalyptus regnans, the tallest flowering plant in the world!

The Heart - The Heart is where you will find towering Manferns (Dicksonia antarctica) and moss covered fallen giants too big too climb over. Through the heart of the property, a meandering rivulet winds its way through entangled roots of Myrtles, Eucalypts and Wattles, the world that time forgot! 

 

Fungi

A range of macrofungi across saptrophic, mycorrhizal and parasitic species across the agarics (gilled), boletes (pores), jellies, puffballs, cups, clubs, stinkhorns and corals. See searchable list on inaturalist 

Read more.

Fauna

The land is host to a variety of fauna including reptiles, amphibians, birds, insects and invertebrates, crustaceans mammals/marsupials and monotremes. Read more.

Flora

Tall, wet Eucalyptus obliqua/ Eucalyptus regnans / mixed (Nothofagus) forest with an understory of rainforest species. Read more.

Climate

The weather is quite cool for approximately eight months of the year, with warmer, hotter weather really between November and March. 

Culture and History

According to a map made by early white observers around (1804-1830), the country where this land is, falls within the Traditional Aboriginal Territory of the South-eastern tribe, theTahuni Lingah. This tribe included the Melukerdee band of the Huon River, the Lyluequonny band of  Recherche Bay, along with the Mouheneenner of Hobart and Nuenonne of Bruny Island. (Habitat Advocate 2021)

Under colonial rule, the first land grants for the area now known as Franklin were given in 1834. In 1839 after her arrival in Tasmania two years earlier, Lady Jane Franklin established the settlement of Franklin in the Huon dividing 640 acres of land into 50 and 100 acre blocks which she sold to poor settlers (Tasmanian Travel & Information Centre 2021).

There is evidence in several areas within the property, that it was logged as everal large eucalyptus stumps remain with the old timber scaffolding (for standing on while sawing), is still in place. A neighbour on an adjoining property states that the property was logged around 1970 - further investigation needed to confirm historical logging regime.

References:

Australian Plant Society Tasmania (Hobart) (2007) Rainforest Plants of Tasmania, TASMAP.

Ford, R.J. (1954) The Geology of the Franklin-Glendevie Area, Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, vol. 88, p.157. 

Kirkpatrick, J.B. & Backhouse, S. (2007) Native Trees of Tasmania, 7th ed., Pandani Press, Tasmania.

Launceston Field Naturalists Club (2008) A Guide to Flowers & Plants of Tasmania, 4th ed., Reed New Holland, New South Wales.

Minchin, R.F. (2005) Wildflowers of Tasmania - A Field Guide by R.F. (Bob) Minchin DCM, Peregrine Pty Ltd, Tasmania.

Our Tasmania (2021) Franklin, Tasmania

https://www.ourtasmania.com.au/hobart/franklin.html

The Habitat Advocate (2021) The Tasmanians Part 5: The Traditional Tasmanians, pp.2-6,

https://www.habitatadvocate.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/The-Traditional-Tasmanians.pdf

Woodward, F.J. (1966) Franklin, Lady Jane (1791–1875), Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/franklin-lady-jane-2065/text2573, published first in hardcopy 1966, accessed online 1 January 2022.