TERN grant allows continued research

Victorian AlpsMembers of the Research Centre for Applied Alpine Ecology have received a $210,000 grant from the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) to continue research based on long-term vegetation plots in the Victorian Alps. 

The research involves collaboration between La Trobe researchers, Dr Henrik Wahren, Dr John Morgan (Department of Botany) and Warwick Papst, and Professor Ary Hoffmann, Laureate Fellow at University of Melbourne.

The overall objective of TERN plot projects is to integrate established plot networks across Australia to tackle critical questions associated with impacts of disturbance on Australian ecosystems.

The project's network of alpine plots was developed over many decades on the Bogong High Plains and other high plains and mountain summits by researchers from La Trobe and the Victorian Department of Conservation. The project aims to monitor the dynamics of the major alpine ecosystems, and to understand fundamental ecological processes by assessing the effects of disturbance by fire, climate change and invasive alien species on the alpine biota.

Major research questions are:

  1. What are the long term changes in the major vegetation types?
  2. What are the likely long term effects on alpine biota of human disturbance, climate change, drought, fire and altered biotic interactions?