Description In general, banksias need a roughly 20 year interval between intense fires to reproduce effectively, as they are adapted to this fire regime. Their adaptations are two fold. All banksia hold their seeds on the plant in woody fruiting cones where they are protected from seed eating animals, birds and insects, and these cones release their seed after an intense fire onto the nutrient enriched ashbed, where competition for sunlight has been reduced by the fire, which has burnt away many plants and leaves. Many banksias are killed by intense fire, but their seeds released onto the cooled ashbed produce a new generation. In addition, some banksias have thick fire resistant bark, or have ligotubers below ground from which they can resprout after fire. If the frequency of intense fires is too great, the new banksia seedlings are killed before they can produce seed cones or develop thick bark or ligntubers. If the frequency of fires is too low, the adult banksia trees die with their cones attached and unopenned - the seeds are only viable for ten years resulting in seed loss. The branches of the dead trees may also fall to the ground where the seed may rot or be consumed by seed eaters. So too low a frequency of intense fires results in dead, standing banksia trees that may no longer contribute to the next generation. Such a low frequency of intense fires may be the product of regular, low intensity burns, that reduce the fuel load, as required near suburbs or the infrastructure of modern civilisation. Pictured is a large, old dead banksia in bushland surrounded by suburbs at Bold Park in Perth, Western Australia.
Gerhard Saueracker, Perth Member Since March 2016 Artist Statement For me, photography, like life itself, began in the sea. I was a committed scuba diver in my youth, and bought an underwater camera as soon as I could afford one. Bringing images of the life I'd observed underwater into my home allowed me to identify and study the life I'd seen, and I developed a strong interest in sea life. The challenges and triumphs of underwater photography also sustained my interest in diving, especially when I started selling images through a photographic agency. My interests eventually evolved and moved onto land, and wildflowers. Having relied on artificial light throughout my underwater photography career, the subtleties of of using available light were a challenge and inspiration to me. Photographing wildflowers in Western Australia's incessant wind is also a challenge, so I decided to develop my technique on a non-moving subject - fungi. This project developed a life of its own, and culminated in the publication of illustrated articles on fungi in several magazines. A trip to the harsh environment of Karijini National Park exposed me to elements of landscape that I'd never observed while seeking my fungus and flower subjects in the forests of the south-west. In the south-west most of the bold elements of landscape are smoothed over with trees, but in Karijini the sparse vegetation reveals in dramatic relief the shapes and colours of the land, and my eye now searches for these elements wherever I go. To acknowledge my enthusiasm for subjects of both macro photography and landscape photography, and many points between, I have chosen the handle "macroscape."