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Learning Lanscape
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Welcome to our third edition

Edition 3: Friday, 22nd September 2017 divider

The Wet Tropics Learning Landscape eBulletin aims to share and apply our knowledge of this exceptional part of the world. This third edition reports on some of the rainforest research undertaken as part of the National Environmental Research Program (NERP) and highlights management challenges and opportunities facing the region. We hope that you enjoy it and we welcome your feedback.
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Measuring a tree Photographer: Dan Metcalfe, CSIRO
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Restoring rainforests naturally - when le$$ is more

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Carla Catterall at a kickstart trial site Photographer: Campbell Clarke
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Restoring forests on cleared lands is a global conservation priority. Professor Carla Catterall from Griffith University and Dr Luke Shoo from the University of Queensland have been investigating different rainforest restoration methods in the Wet Tropics as part of a NERP project. Their research is highlighting the need for strategic approaches to restoration to maximise ecological and financial returns
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Resilience is vital for vulnerable rainforest fauna

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The biodiversity of the Wet Tropics is in serious trouble. A NERP project led by Professor Steve Williams from James Cook University has found that Wet Tropics fauna is likely already experiencing the effects of climate change. For the first time, long term, field based evidence is showing that bird and mammal species are already in decline and on the move, seeking refuge in higher, cooler mountain environs. Regional endemics appear most at risk.
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Golden bowerbird Photographer: Adam McKeown (CSIRO images)
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Rainforest at risk

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Little is known about the genetic diversity of the rainforest species of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. A collaborative NERP project headed by Professor Darren Crayn from the Australian Tropical Herbarium is addressing this knowledge gap by analysing the deep genetic diversity of plants in the Wet Tropics. The research forecasts significant declines in suitable habitat and species richness for many endemic montane plant species.
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Wind-sheared microphyll vine forest at Mount Lewis Photographer: Steve Goosem
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Counting cassowaries and urbanising bats

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Dr David Westcott from the CSIRO is the project leader for a NERP project which monitors cassowary and flying-fox populations in the Wet Tropics. The cassowary research replicates the field survey employed by Crome and Moore for their seminal 1988 cassowary study, providing updated data on species abundance and distribution. The flying-fox project involves conducting monthly surveys of spectacled flying-fox populations in the Wet Tropics to determine size, distribution and trends in abundance.
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Cassowary and palm seeds Photographer: Liz Gallie
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Fire in the forest

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A research team headed by Dr Dan Metcalfe from the CSIRO has been studying the role of fire in three different plant communities in the Wet Tropics - littoral rainforest, Mabi forest and mahogany glider habitat. Initial results outline the benefits of using different fire regimes in managing different vegetation communities. The research highlights the need for empirical data to underpin fire management and policy decisions.
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Ignition fire Photographer: EPA
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In this edition

Restoring rainforests naturally - when le$$ is more
Resilience is vital for vulnerable rainforest fauna
Rainforest at risk
Counting cassowaries and urbanising bats
Fire in the forest
Guest editorial - rainforest research is of great value
Postgrad Profile - How the trees grow
Policy Snapshot December 2014
In the news December 2014
Rainforest research update December 2014
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Guest editorial - rainforest research is of great value



More than twenty years of research investment has provided a rich legacy of knowledge about the Wet Tropics.
Andrew Maclean
Executive Director (Wet Tropics Management Authority)

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Postgrad Profile

Heather Haines is a PhD candidate studying the growth patterns of Queensland native pines in response to rainfall.
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Policy Snapshot December 2014

Recent government policy developments relevant to the Wet Tropics.
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In the news December 2014

Recent news about tropical research issues of relevance to the Wet Tropics.
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Rainforest research update December 2014

National and global rainforest research of relevance to the Wet Tropics
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