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Fortitude Valley, Australia

Kitching R.L.,Griffith University | Putland D.,Growcom | Ashton L.A.,Griffith University | Laidlaw M.J.,Queensland Herbarium | And 3 more authors.
Memoirs of the Queensland Museum

The IBISCA-Queensland project established 20 permanent plots over an altitudinal range of 300 m to 1100 m above sea-level (a.s.l.) in rainforest within Lamington National Park, south-east Queensland. Four replicate plots were established at each 200 m interval, representing an average temperature change between altitudes of about 1.5°C - a full range of approximately 7.5°C. The project aimed to identify which animal and plant groups are likely to be most sensitive to climate change and which ones can best be used as indicators for monitoring such change. Full vegetation analyses were carried out at each plot and basic climatic and soil data collected. Over an 18 month period insect collections, using a wide-range of trapping methods, were made and specific projects carried out by more than 55 scientists from 14 countries. This paper summarises the history and goals of the project and the general 'IBISCA' model within which it was conceived. Site locations are presented, as is an outline of the specific trapping programme and more specific projects carried out within the broader objectives of IBISCA-Queensland. The strengths and weaknesses of the IBISCA approach are discussed. The first comparative syntheses are anticipated and a broader context for future work is defined. © The State of Queensland (Queensland Museum) 2011. Source

Ashton L.A.,Griffith University | Kitching R.L.,Griffith University | Maunsell S.C.,Griffith University | Bito D.,Griffith University | Putland D.A.,Growcom
Memoirs of the Queensland Museum

Moth assemblages have been widely used to estimate patterns of beta-diversity in forest ecosystems. As part of the IBISCA-Queensland project we examined patterns of diversity in a large subset of night-flying moths along an altitudinal gradient in subtropical rainforest. The permanent IBISCA-Queensland transect located in Lamington National Park, south-east Queensland, Australia, spans altitudes from 300 metres (m) to 1100 m above sea level (a.s.l.) within continuous, undisturbed rainforest. We sampled four replicate plots at each of five altitudes (300, 500, 700, 900, 1100 m a.s.l.). A total of 11 379 individual moths were sampled, belonging to approximately 865 morphospecies. Moth assemblages displayed a strong altitudinal signal at each of two sampling periods (October 2006 and March 2007). The results show that cloud forest above 900 m a.s.l. where Nothofagus moorei becomes dominant, contains a number of moth species that are restricted to the high elevation forest and these species may be most threatened by climatic change. The analyses presented here suggest a set of 18 moth species which may be useful as part of a multi-taxon predictor set for future monitoring of the impact of global warming on forest biodiversity. © The State of Queensland (Queensland Museum) 2011. Source

A telephone survey showed that a high proportion of fruit and vegetable growers in Queensland (Australia) use organic mulches and soil amendments. This indicates that growers know about the importance of mulching and soil organic matter. Perennial fruit growers saw improved moisture retention, weed suppression and better crops as the key benefits of using mulches, while vegetable growers saw increased soil organic matter, increased soil nutrients and improved soil structure as major benefits from using organic soil amendments. Although many growers use organic mulches and soil amendments, knowledge gaps became apparent, which could be addressed by providing readily available information about different products, how to use them, and what they can and cannot deliver. The list of problems growers had experienced with the use of mulches and organic soil amendments, and a relatively large proportion had experienced problems, provides suppliers of such products with a practical guide to enhancing customer satisfaction. The supply of spreadable, i.e., screened products at appropriate moisture levels that are free of weeds and that do not pose a risk (physical/chemical contaminants) to horticultural farm production would meet the bare minimum requirements of growers. Many would also like to have information about nutrient content, quality assurance and the efficacy of products. Product/transport costs and efficacy are problems the mulch and compost supply industry have to address, if they want horticultural industries to use their products. Source

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