Theme 2 'Understanding Ecosystem Function and Cumulative Pressures'

Program 7 will have three projects addressing different threats to rainforest health. A generalised analytical toolkit will be developed for assessing vulnerability to extreme climatic events, particularly the sensitivity of Wet Tropics fauna to temperature extremes. The role of fire as a driver of rainforest distribution (particularly on the threatened ecosystem of the Mabi forest) will be determined.

Program 6 will have three projects designed to monitor the movements of apex predators in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park using widespread arrays of acoustic receivers installed and maintained by other funding programs (e.g. IMOS, ARC). One project will focus on the movement and habitat use of large predatory fishes (e.g. sharks and coral trout) in reef environments. New knowledge about the scale of daily and seasonal movements will establish a minimum viable size for no-take areas to offer effective protection to these mobile animals.

Program 5 will have three projects designed to assess the impacts of cumulative pressures on coastal biodiversity in the GBR. One will be a synthesis and analysis of spatial and temporal patterns of inshore biodiversity seeking to partition the influence of different environmental drivers (water quality, crown of thorns starfish, cyclones, and connectivity) and identify synergistic interactions between stressors.

Program 4 will have three projects assessing risks to biodiversity from current water quality in the inshore Great Barrier Reef and a desktop hazard study for water quality outlook in the Torres Strait.

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