Burgan ( Kunzea ericoides) thickets dominate the landscape along the southern edge of the Strathbogie Ranges above the Goulburn River from Trawool to Yea.
Landscape disturbances related to human activity have changed the vegetation structure and altered the ecosystems allowing this one species to dominate.
Burgan rapidly colonizes disturbed areas and abandoned pastures . It also actively invades remnant bushland and thereby decreases biodiversity values by smothering other plant species.
The fine fuel biomass of burgan thickets are markedly higher than surrounding open eucalypt forests and create higher fire hazard potential. Fire will spread at higher rates and burn with greater intensity in these dense patches .
It appears difficult to reverse the impacts of this invasive species and the ‘new ‘ vegetation types being established will require new approaches to management. Unfortunately there is little information or research on how to control this woody weed effectively. Burning and bulldozing appear to stimulate regeneration. Herbicide treatment would be economically impossible and environmently a disaster.
Although considered a colonizing plant, some of the burgan tea tree on Mt Eaglehawk is over 40 years old and still growing strongly ( As observed on 1950’s aerial photos ) It must have some ecological values , perhaps burgan should be considered an asset rather than a threat ? Can other native species out-compete the burgan if given half a chance ? What fauna species inhabit burgan dominated landscapes?