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Surviving Fire: Diary Entry of a Eucalypt

Surviving Fire: Diary Entry of a Eucalypt

The Australian bush is characteristically dry and has evolved with fire. Showcase the unique adaptations to fire found in Australian plants from the perspective of a fire-adapted tree species.

Materials

  • Magnifying glass
  • Pencil
  • Printout of survey table

Introduction

 

Observe the image below showing a landscape after fire. What do you see? What has survived and what has perished? Will the bushland regenerate or will it be unable to recover?

Instructions

Imagine you are a Eucalypt living in this scene. Write a diary entry about your experiences during the bushfire. In your entry, consider the following:
  • The nature of the bushfire (and the factors contributing to this)
  • How you protect yourself from fire (refer to any structural and physiological adaptations)
  • How you respond to fire when it is occurring (refer to any structural and physiological adaptations)
  • How you respond to fire after it has left (refer to any structural and physiological adaptations)
  • How your responses to fire differ to other species in the bushland (both plant and animal), and how this impacts your survival (refer to competitive advantage)
  • How your greater ability to survive fire impacts other species

Extension

  • Present your diary entry as a narrated stop motion video. Collect natural materials from an outdoor location and use them to visually represent a changing bush landscape or your responses to fire (e.g. showing epicormic growth)!