The proposed motorcycle racetrack in an application before the South Gippsland Shire Council may not intend to remove trees from the remnant bush site but it will destroy a significant amount of understorey.
Trees are dominant but understorey is just as important.
To the untrained eye the understorey in remnant bushland may seem like just a bit of tea-tree.
However, it is much more than just that, as this is where most of the diversity is.
Whilst eucalyptus species dominate the canopy, there can be more than 50 understorey species.
The biodiversity found in remnant bushland is impossible to recreate once it has gone. Also, the fauna it supports is just as diverse.
The bushland needs to remain intact to be resilient. The racetracks that carve through the bushland will have several knock-on effects.
Besides the destruction of habitat and increase of erosion, there will be access made for foxes and feral cats into the heart of this important example of remnant bushland. The predation of small animals will be increased dramatically, and the introduction of weeds more likely.
Over time this will lead to irreparable degradation and the loss of a valuable resource.
Dinah Drummond, Leongatha South.
More than just a bit of tea-tree