Forest and Rangeland Ecosystems
The Forest & Rangeland Ecosystems Unit conducts research aimed at maintaining or enhancing biodiversity and natural resource condition within production systems that meet economic objectives.
Artificial frog pond
- Forest Biodiversity and Ecology: includes research and advice to measure and maximise biodiversity in planted and native forests. Staff quantify effects of forest management practices (logging, fuel reduction burning, etc.) on fauna and flora, develop management guidelines and models for managing threatened species in forests, identify practical and reliable indicators of biodiversity, develop robust methods for assessing the ecological sustainability of forestry operations, and develop prescriptions for maximising biodiversity outcomes for native vegetation plantings in rural landscapes.
Researchers from the Forest Science Centre are tracking changes in wildlife populations on farms. Eucalypt plantations were established surrounding remnant trees in 1999. This video shows a sample of the incredible range of wildlife encountered during field surveys.
NSW DPI researchers have been radio-tracking the enigmatic Golden-tipped bat Kerivoula papuensis over the last 10 years to determine the effects of logging on their abundance. Long-term results indicate this threatened species recovered after logging despite an initial decline.
Nocturnal behaviours of threatened Eastern Pygmy Possums have been filmed as part of research undertaken by The Forest Science Centre, NSW DPI. These possums have been radio-tracked before and after logging in forests. Detailed results are currently being analysed and prepared for publication in the scientific literature. Watch videos of Den emergence and Foraging.
Rangelands provide for economic production and biodiversity conservation
- Sustainable Rangelands: includes research aimed at progressively refining the basis for ‘tactical grazing’ and ‘precision pastoralism’, including matching of forage supply and demand, critical thresholds for species utilisation, seasonal risk assessment, and factors influencing the uniformity of grazing. Research in restoration ecology includes use of conventional and molecular techniques to define provenance guidelines for native species and manipulation of soil fertility to encourage regeneration of native perennial grasses. Staff also manage a pilot progam to evaluate the use of financial incentives to support sustainable grazing management.
Key research infrastructure
The Forest Biodiversity & Ecology Sub-Unit is based at the Forest Science Centre in West Pennant Hills with some field staff based at Eden on the south coast.
The Sustainable Rangelands Sub-Unit is based at the Trangie Agricultural Research Centre, the NSW Centre of Excellence for Western Farming Systems and Rangeland Research.
Key research collaborations
Forest Biodiversity & Ecology Sub-Unit:
- Forestry Corporation
- Bushfires CRC
- University of NSW
- NSW Department of Environment & Conservation
- Catchment Management Authorities
Sustainable Rangelands Sub-Unit:
- Meat & Livestock Australia
- Australian Wool Innovation Limited
- University of Sydney
- Catchment Management Authorities
- Queensland government agencies
Plain language summaries of recent publications by Unit staff are listed below. Note that not all published material is available here. In particular publications by staff of the Forest Biodiversity & Ecology Sub-Unit have been collated only since 2007.
Find a list of Forest and Rangeland Ecosystems scientists.
|Current Research Projects - Forest & Rangeland Ecosystems - 21/06/11