Ecological function in modified landscapes

The future conservation of many plants and animals depends on their ability to persist in modified landscapes. Human activities not only have direct impacts on species (e.g. through habitat loss or climate change) but also change the way in which species interact with each other and the environment. A wide array of our research investigates such changes in ecological function in modified landscapes, such as:

  • interactions between species and how this affects processes such as pollination, predation, herbivory and parasitism
  • the role of ‘keystone species’ and ‘ecosystem engineers’ in structuring communities
  • the genetic structure of populations
  • environmental microbiology and the role of microbiota in shaping environmental outcomes
  • behavioural and physiological responses of animals to landscape change, and
  • changes in physical processes, such as groundwater recharge and hydrological flows.

Related projects

The scorpion Urodacus yaschenkoi is abundant outside reintroduction sites, but rare inside, where it is consumed by reintroduced mammals.  Scorpions fluoresce under UV light.

Ecological extinctions

Cascading effects of extinctions on biodiversity and ecosystem function.

Evidence of soil diggings by small mammals

Ecosystem engineers

Cascading effects of threatened ecosystem engineers on soil processes.

Brush-tailed Phascogale in a nest box

Conservation biology and landscape ecology of the Brush-tailed Phascogale

Conservation biology and landscape ecology of a threatened marsupial.

Denise conducting field surveys on Black Box in Hattah Kulkyne National Park

Nutritional response of Black Box

Environmental water in Hattah Kulkyne National Park.