Overview

Warra at a glance

The Warra Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site was established in 1995 to encourage long-term ecological research and monitoring in wet eucalypt forests in Tasmania, the island state of southeastern Australia. It is intended to foster multi-disciplinary research within a long term (5 year or longer) framework. The site combines infrastructure and background information for researchers with ease of access and surety of long term maintenance.

The Warra LTER site occupies 15,900 ha between the Huon and Weld Rivers, approximately 60 km west south-west of Hobart. The site includes Mt Weld and Mt Frederick, and ranges in altitude from 37m to 1260 m; it is geologically diverse, but dominated by Jurassic dolerite.

The tall, wet Eucalyptus obliqua forests predominate, and are part of the cool, temperate wet forest biome. These forests are among the most productive terrestrial ecosystems in the world and their management generates a disproportionately high social and political interest. The site also includes some areas of moorland, temperate rainforest, riparian and montane conifer forest and scrubs.

Goals

  • encouraging long-term ecological research and monitoring by providing appropriate infrastructure
  • developing an understanding of the ecological processes at a range of scales, from single trees to entire catchments and from seconds to centuries
  • developing a better understanding of biodiversity and geodiversity patterns across the landscape
  • determining the effects of different forest management practices on biodiversity and ecological processes
  • developing ecological indicators for monitoring environmental change and the sustainability of forest management
  • studying experimental management regimes and identifying those that could be developed as viable and sustainable alternatives to current practices
  • enabling researchers from a range of disciplines to collaborate on joint projects and data-sharing
  • linking Tasmanian forest research with national and international programs sharing a long-term ecological research focus

Management

The site is situated partly in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and partly on Permanent Timber Production Zone land. In 2010 Warra became a member site of the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network that was established under the Australian government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Scheme.

The western portion of the site is within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and is managed for conservation by the Department of Environment and Land Management. The eastern portion is State forest managed by Sustainable Timbers Tasmania for multiple-uses including sustainable wood production.

The Site is managed by a Warra Policy Committee and by a Research Management Group. This Committee meets about twice each year. The Warra Policy Committee is comprised of representatives from:

  • Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE)
  • Sustainable Timbers Tasmania (STT)
  • Forest Practices Authority (FPA)
  • Department of State Growth (SG)
  • Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG)
  • University of Tasmania (UTAS)
  • CSIRO
  • Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES)
  • Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN). 

Warra Charter Document

This document outlines the vision and goals for the Research Site

Slideshow- Research to Management

A slideshow highlighting successful linkage between research and management at Warra

Partner Organisations