Work Package 2 – Scene setting and bio-physical impacts review

Work Package 2 – Scene setting and bio-physical impacts review is led by Macquarie University and Murdoch University.
The purpose of this component is to provide a summary of current scientific understanding of climate change impacts on Australian forests. This component will give a sound scientific basis to underpin discussion of adaptation of forest management to climate change.
This review will summarise current scientific understanding gained from research worldwide but will have a strong focus on the implications for the Australian forest estate. In particular, the review will incorporate important recent research into climate change impacts on forests funded through the Australian Greenhouse Office (now Department of Climate Change) Greenhouse Action in Regional Australia program.
This work package is conducted by both Macquarie University and Murdoch University. It covers the following areas (chief responsibility for each section is indicated):
Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University
Introductory scene setting:
  • The Australian forest estate
  • Ecosystem services
  • Climate change scenarios including extreme events
Climate change impacts on carbon, water and nutrient balances:
  • impacts of CO2, increased temperature, altered rainfall
  • effects on forest productivity and carbon sequestration
  • effects on water use and water availability
  • impacts on nutrient cycling
  • consideration of impacts on production and conservation forests
State Centre of Excellence on Climate Change, Woodland and Forest Health, Murdoch University
Climate change and management issues principally relating to biotic changes, examining specifically the impacts of increased temperatures, altered rainfall and enhanced variability on the following:
  • impacts on biodiversity
  • weed invasions
  • vulnerability to pests and pathogens
  • vulnerability to bushfire
  • impacts on other ecosystem services e.g. pollination

Examine and review the existing and developing remote sensing technologies (e.g. Hyperspectral and Multispecteral, Lidar) with potential for measuring impacts of climate change on the above factors. Such technologies allow for accurate quantification of change in forest health spatially and temporally across sites, regions and landscapes.