Home Science Climate CSIRO, TERN open Australia's largest rainforest research plot
CSIRO's Matt Bradford admires a slow-growing Gossia shepherdii (Lignum) on the Robson Creek rainforest plot, which he estimates is close to 1,000 years old. CSIRO's Matt Bradford admires a slow-growing Gossia shepherdii (Lignum) on the Robson Creek rainforest plot, which he estimates is close to 1,000 years old. CSIRO

The new rainforest research site, at the Robson Creek plot, forms part of the Far North Queensland Rainforest Supersite. It is the largest rainforest plot ever set up in Australia.

The Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) spent the last three years developing the site at Robson Creek.

Robson Creek is located in North Queensland, on the Atherton Tablelands, which is near Cairns.

The new site, which is 25 hectare (62 acres) in area, will allow scientists to monitor the Australian rainforest in order to learn more about this very diverse environment and to better advise the country on the potential impacts from climate change on this ecosystem.

According to the February 18, 2013 CSIRO article Australia's first rainforest research 'Supersite' opens for business, Matt Bradford, the manager for the Robson Creek site, stated, "In preparing the plot for research, we established baseline data by identifying, mapping and measuring every tree that was greater than 10cm in diameter so we can continue to monitor them."

Bradford added, "We censused over 23 000 stems from 212 different species and there is estimated to be more than 400 plant species represented on the plot."

And, "Already there are studies under way involving CSIRO and four Australian universities looking at the diversity of plants, birds, animals and insects and the dynamics of how things like water, carbon and gases move through the ecosystem."

Bradford ended with, "A state of the art flux measuring tower, part of TERN’s OzFlux network, will be installed on the site in coming months that will monitor gas exchange between the forest and the atmosphere, allowing us to observe how climate change might affect this ecosystem."

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William Atkins

William Atkins completed educational degrees in science (bachelor’s in physics and mathematics) from Illinois State University (Normal, United States) and business (master’s in entrepreneurship and bachelor’s in industrial relations) from Western Illinois University

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