During my seven years living on the Bunya Mountains and maintaining council walking tracs in Russell Park on the upper western slopes, I became aware of the large variety and volume of fungi that occupied the entire root zone of this rainforest.
This fungal community thrives in the sheltered and often moist rainforest environment, consuming everything dead, plant, insect or animal. This volume of fungi accelerates the carbon cycle and eliminates forest waste that could fuel fires.
An infestation of pigs and pig digging on the lower slopes had caused an end to the fire cycle that had established Eucalyptus species on some ridges and other areas. Without fires and despite severe drought, rainforest pioneers were quickly advancing through the Eucalyptus forests. Along with these deep rooted plants also came the already mentioned fungi, which was attacking the fine, shallow roots of large Eucalyptus species, causing them to fall and die.
Eucalyptus species protect themselves from fungi by maintaining a dry environment around themselves. Thin hanging leaves create little shade, while having no lower limbs means dry winds blow over the ground. An extensive network of shallow roots dominate and dry the top soil. I have often observed a strange moisture repelling fungi among the roots of Eucalyptus species.
These drying factors create a constant build-up of oily, leaves branches and bark. This invites very hot fires that few plants, other than Eucalyptus and the burning grasses can survive. Throughout this region human burning has encouraged the spread of Eucalyptus species, replacing the carbon cycle with a burning cycle. As described, this is a drying process resulting in desertification. If you want to dry your land and environment and create a fire hazard, plant Eucalyptus species.