Spatial and Temporal Changes in Structure and Floristics of a Subtropical Rainforest
My research project will focus on changes that have occurred in a subtropical rainforest in Main Range National Park approx. 200 km by road south west of Brisbane.
Two research plots were established in 1962 by the Queensland Department of Forestry. These plots were measured at regular intervals by Forestry until 1981. In 1991 the plots were taken over by UQ ( Gambubal Research Site ) and measured by myself as part of my Masters. In addition the survey was expanded to include 10 hectares of the surrounding forest.
A new measure of the Forestry plots and the larger survey area is to be completed. A detailed analysis will be undertaken on the temporal and spatial changes since 1962. Information such as growth rates, recruitment changes and changes in biomass over time will be investigated. This baseline line information will then provide a basis for investigating a number of questions such as what influence environmental factors have on species distribution.
Changes to the rainforest/eucalypt ecotone will be investigated, as well as characterising gap and tree fall dynamics. Comparisons will be made with ecological processes in similar forests.
This project is part of the Main Range National Park Critical Zone Observatory ( CZO ).