Long Term Flagship Research
Since Warra was established more than 200 research projects have been undertaken at the site. Several of those projects were designed with the specific intent of continuing remeasurement in the long term (more than 15 years). These projects are designated as “Icon” projects, and each has it’s own dedicated web space:
- compares alternative methods of harvesting and regenerating tall, wet eucalypt forests
- a network of plots at 100-metre intervals along a 50-1300- metre altitudinal gradient to monitor long-term shifts in species’ range
- compares the succession of saproxylic species colonising large logs from mature Eucalyptus obliqua and smaller logs from regrowth E. obliqua
- an automatic climate station managed by the Bureau of Meteorology
- a series of 0.25-hectare plots in single-age, wet eucalypt forest stands established along a chronosequence of time-since-disturbance
- a 33 x 32 km landscape dominated by lowland wet eucalypt forest that captures a gradient of disturbance intensity resulting from past wildfires and post-European land-use
- a field site of the AusCover Network used for field validation and calibration of remote sensing products
- Warra hosts three plots in the continental Ausplot Network of 1-hectare plots in tall, wet eucalypt forests used to track forest growth and productivity along continental gradient
A Long Term Investment
Icon Projects represent the main investment in long-term research done at Warra. These projects have been established to permit their ongoing measurement in permanently located plots or permanently installed and maintained instrumentation that make measurements on an ongoing basis.
Data collected is well-curated with accompanying meta-data and stored in publicly-accessible repositories. Biological specimens collected are stored in major collections managed by the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (including the Tasmanian Herbarium).
Icon Projects provide the research platform that supports many other short-term studies, particularly studies done by under-graduate and post-graduate students at universities.
National and Regional Significance
Since the creation of Warra in 1995 eleven Icon Projects have been established. The seven Icon Projects established before 2010 were largely to address research questions relevant to the local area. The creation of the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) in 2009 provided a national facility to underpin the monitoring of Australia’s terrestrial ecosystems.
Warra is a member site of four of TERN facilities – OzFlux, Australian Supersites Network, AusCover Field Site and the AusPlots Forest network. These facilities have been established to address national and international research priorities and questions.