Learning Landscape eBulletin

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Still valuable the second time around!

Increasing biodiversity and carbon storage in secondary regrowth in the Wet Tropics.
 
 
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It gets better with age

Secondary forests are extensive in the tropics, accounting for 40% of the total forest area and their rates of formation are about nine million hectares per year. A recent paper by Goosem et al asks the following questions: Does age and isolation affect the rate of recovery of plant diversity and community composition in secondary rainforests? As secondary rainforests get older do they attain the diversity and composition found in a primary rainforest?
 
 
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Alien invasion of the inner space

Natural secondary succession of rainforest is a slow process and is frequently suppressed by woody weed competition. Tng et al describe the invasive attributes of shade tolerant strawberry guava (Psidium cattleianum) in an age sequence of secondary rainforest on the Atherton Tableland. Their conclusion is that its dense thickets both exclude native vegetation and reduce native species regeneration.
 
 
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Rainforest seeds do not fall far from the tree!

Compared to tree planting schemes natural regeneration is a viable, low cost restoration option in areas where soils have not been highly degraded, diverse natural seed sources grow nearby, and seed-dispersing fauna are present.
 
 
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What will happen if we leave the wattle?

Secondary rainforests regenerating on abandoned pasture are widespread and represent an opportunity to restore rainforest at minimal management cost, but can become arrested for long periods; possibly indefinitely. In the Wet Tropics secondary rainforests are frequently dominated by long-lived acacia species. A recent study asks the question: Will acacia secondary forest become rainforest in Australia's Wet Tropics?
 
 
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In the News July 2016

Recent news about research issues of relevance to the Wet Tropics.
 
 
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Research Updates July 2016

National and global rainforest research of relevance to the Wet Tropics.
 
 
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Policy Snapshot July 2016

Recent government policy developments relevant to the Wet Tropics.
 
 

Student Research Grants 2016

Each year the Wet Tropics Management Authority invites proposals from postgraduate students from across Australia to support environmental, social and cultural research which will benefit Wet Tropics World Heritage Area management, policy development and operational decision making. Here are this years lucky recipients.
 
 
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Welcome to the Climate Extremes 5th e-Bulletin

Although a lot of policy-making is determined by changes in climate averages, it is climate extremes that are thought to be most immediately hazardous to biodiversity. Statistically, any period of history will exhibit extremes of temperature, rainfall and other climate parameters, but it is when these extremes become more intense than in the past that alarm bells ring.
 
 
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Heat waves - the real game changer

Heatwaves in Australia are becoming hotter, longer, more frequent, and occurring earlier. The first detailed quantitative assessment of the vulnerability of biodiversity in the Wet Tropics to heat stress has recently been undertaken. A common feature of many of the most vulnerable species is that they are mountain-top species with small distributions.
 
 
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No rain - no rainforest?

You cannot take all the water out of the oceans or remove all the sand from the deserts but scientists in the Daintree rainforest have found a way to remove the rain from some of the Daintree rainforest. Thankfully it is all in the name of science and the other important consideration is the area used is only half a hectare. The reason for the experiment is critically important as the frequency of severe droughts is increasing in many regions around the world as a result of climate change.
 
 
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Mountain top plants - nowhere left to go?

In the Wet Tropics tropical mountains are biodiversity hotspots and major centres of local endemism. Mountain forest ecosystems are characterised by frequent cloud or mist inundation and climatic zones that get compressed over short distances along steep altitudinal gradients. High-altitude specialist plant species rely on cool temperatures and abundant moisture for their survival. This makes them particularly vulnerable to a changing climate.
 
 
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In the News - Feb 2016

Recent news about tropical research issues for the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
 
 
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Policy Update February 2016

Recent government policy developments relevant to the Wet Tropics.
 
 
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Rainforest Research Update February 2016

National and global rainforest research of relevance to the Wet Tropics
 
 
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Mason's Mad about Plants

Mason Campbell is a PhD student from James Cook University in Cairns studying under the supervision of Distinguished Professor Bill Laurance and Associate Professor Will Edwards. Mason
 
 
 

News and Events

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News and Events

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New cassowary rehabilitation centre announced for far north Queensland

New cassowary rehabilitation centre announced for far north Queensland

A privately operated cassowary rehabilitation facility has received approval from the Department of Environment Protection (EHP) to open on the A... READ MORE

Advisory committees to inform Wet Tropics board

Advisory committees to inform Wet Tropics board

Leading experts and industry leaders will play a critical role in protecting one of tropical north Queensland’s most valuable natural resources.... READ MORE

Promoting initiatives that showcase all the Wet Tropics has to offer

Promoting initiatives that showcase all the Wet Tropics has to offer

New partnerships are helping develop sustainable tourism opportunities in the Wet Tropics region.... READ MORE