ANU research forests

The National Arboretum Canberra has two forests dedicated to research conducted with the Australian National University.

This collaborative research project focuses on the effects of climate variability, climate change and water use in two different types of eucalypt trees. The two species, Corymbia maculata (spotted gum) and Eucalyptus tricarpa (red ironbark), were specifically chosen due to their ability to cope with low rainfall and drought in different ways; spotted gum is a drought ‘avoider’ and uses an extensive root system to maintain its water intake, whereas red ironbark is a drought ‘tolerator’ and alters its metabolism to stop growing during drought.

The trees were planted in blocks of single species, arranged to allow three watering treatments and replication. This enables researchers to measure the effects of different watering regimes on the growth and survival of the trees, and consequently estimate the effects on many other eucalypt species. The blocks are large enough to allow them to be split to examine other important environmental effects such as competition.

Research investigators: Cris Brack (Chief investigator), Fenner School, Australian National University (ANU)
Michael Roderick, Tim Brown and Justin Borovitz, RSB, Australian National University
Albert van Dijk, Fenner School, Australian National University

Purpose of project