The Multi-Year Research Plan, or MYRP, is a research plan that provides contextual information and a breakdown of research activities of the NERP Tropical Ecosystems Hub; describes the research that the Hub will be undertaking between 2011 and 2014; identifies research priorities and l

The e-Atlas was established as a MTSRF project to capture and communicate research outcomes.  Under the NERP Tropical Ecosystems Hub the e-Atlas will be developed further based on research user feedback to provide the most effective method for capturing, visualising and communicating the Hub’s research outcomes.

This project will partner the region’s key stakeholders to review, trial and evaluate the most effective governance systems and planning foundations for regional and landscape scale adaptation to climate change. In particular, within the context of these governance systems and planning arrangements, it will focus on the potential application of emerging ecosystem service markets to secure landscape scale resilience for biodiversity in the face of climate change.

The key intent of the Project will be to:

This project will fill critical information gaps about the relative importance of key attributes (or ‘values’) associated with the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area to a variety of different stakeholders and about the way in which those ‘values’ might be effected by a range of external influences (e.g. different types of economic development, increases in population, changes in the mix of visitors).

The project is focused on naturally regenerating forests (regrowth) and their potential to offer a much needed low cost option to restore critical habitat over large areas. It will assist decisions about how to most efficiently restore biodiversity to degraded rainforest landscapes, by providing new knowledge about the outcomes of lower-cost regrowth (including potential for minimum intervention management).

Planning systems, governance structures and institutions that capture the traditional knowledge and associations of Indigenous peoples into biodiversity decision-making and management remain elusive. Key planning initiatives in the Wet Tropics region have advanced the institutional capability to engage Indigenous peoples into biodiversity management, including the Wet Tropics Regional Agreement, the Aboriginal Cultural and Natural Resource Management Plan, several Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUA), and the nomination for national heritage listing of the Aboriginal cultural values.

This project proposes to provide information and tools to enable scientists and management agencies to predict and limit the impacts of extreme climatic events on Australia’s biodiversity.  It aims to determine the exposure, sensitivity and vulnerability of Wet Tropics biodiversity to climatic extremes, and assess contemporary and future impacts.

Rainforests are generally thought of as being highly susceptible to damage by fire, and for many Southeast Asian and Amazonian rainforests this is indeed the case. However, Australian rainforests have persisted for millennia in an environment where fire is common, and repeated contractions into refugia and subsequent expansions during glacial cycles (Hilbert et al. 2007) means that extant rainforest taxa have survived frequent exposure to fire.

Monitoring is a fundamental component of the management of threatened species and is of particular importance when those species come into direct conflict with humans and their interests.  In such circumstances up-to-date information on population status, trends and distribution become key inputs into decision making. In these circumstances, systematic, objective and transparent data is critical to the acceptance of the decision making process.

Ten frog species disappeared from the upland rainforests of the Wet Tropics and Eungella during outbreaks of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in the late 1980s and early 1990s, representing 25% of the frogs endemic to the Wet Tropics and all of the Eungella endemics.  Five of these species occurred only in the uplands and have been presumed extinct because no individuals have been found despite intensive searches. This represents a significant loss of endemic species diversity, particularly in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.


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