Stephen H. Roxburgh

Past and present fieldwork sites

Carbon sequestration in environmental plantings
As part of ongoing work for the Australian Government we have been havesting trees across the continent in a range of mixed-species environmental and mallee plantings, and in a range of native regeneration sites, in order to better understand growth rates and carbon storage. The results from the study have been used to improve growth predictions within Australia's national carbon accounting software package, FullCAM (Paul et al. 2012)

Mallee planting, near Bendigo, Victoria.

Mixed-species planting, near Nhill, Victoria.

Biomass harvesting.

Sifting for roots.

Subalpine Australia
Research into the intercation between cattle grazing and prescribed fire in the grasslands, shrublands and woodlands of subalpine Australia

Happy Jacks Plain, New South Wales

Snow gum woodland, Snowy High Plains, NSW.

Grazing cattle, Snowy High Plains, NSW

Vegetation sampling, Snowy High Plains, NSW

Woodland study site before experimental burn. Dominant shrub is Bossiaea foliosa

Woodland study site one week after
 experimental burn.

Low-intensity grassland fire

Alpine wolf spider with young (a Wolfmother?).

Subtropical woodlands/open forests (Injune, Queensland)
As part of the Injune Landscape Study we have been measuring and modelling carbon sequestration and loss within a landscape mosaic of diverse open forest and woodland communities, subject to a range of agricultural and forestry management practices [goto ref]. Major dominants include Poplar box (Eucalyptus populnea), white cypress pine (Callitris glaucophylla), and Brigalow (Acacia harpophylla).

Poplar box woodland.

White cypress pine open forest.

Soil-surface litter sampling

Soil sampling

Poplar box - death by chaining

Poplar box - death by herbicide

SE Australia temperate forests (Kioloa & region)
This study was undertaken to examine the carbon sequestration potential of tall temeprate forests in SE Australia, that had been subject to prior logging [goto ref]

Spotted gum (Corymbia maculata) forest regenerating from prior logging

Typical spotted gum (Corymbia maculata)/rainforest mix, coastal NSW.

Spotted gum bark

One of the locals

Forest floor vegetation dynamics (Namadgi National Park, ACT)
In this study we are exploring the role of environmental fluctuations on plant species coexistence and biodiversity maintenance using an herbaceous forest understory community as a model system. The forest canopy is dominated by E. viminalis and E.fastigata, but our study concentrates on the species occupying the forest floor.

The forest understorey community.

The forest orchid Chiloglottis gunnii.

A view of the forest community before the 2003 bushfires...

A view of the forest community after the 2003 bushfires...

Majura Field Firing Range, Canberra
Tony Winters conducted his honours research on the functional responses of grassland species to combined disturbances of drought and fire. This was one of our more exciting field sites...

Who would have thought ecology could be so dangerous...

A view of the grassland

Blue Devil (Eryngium rostratum)

Australian Bindweed (Convolvulus erubescens)

The Otago University Botany Dept. Lawn, Dunedin, NZ.
Well, this is not the most exotic location to do ecological research, but it has proven to be a useful model system for exploring various aspects of plant community structure, and is the community on which my PhD research was based [goto refs 1, 2, see also Bastow Wilson's website]. I include it here to show that we don't always have to travel into the untamed wilderness to do our ecological research ...

The undisturbed lawn. The idea was to examine the stability of the community by direct perturbation, and then compare its behaviour with model predictions.

Lawn following the application of perturbation treatments. The shade treatment and the plots where all plants were mechanically removed are visible

High alpine tundra succession (Old Man Range, New Zealand)
As an undergraduate I contributed to an ongoing study, initiated by Prof. Alan Mark at the Otago University Botany Dept, on succession in high-alpine tundra vegetation on the Old Man Range in Central Otago, New Zealand. In the 1970's a vehicle access road for a television transmitter was built through the vegetation, however the bulldozer driver was a bit keen, and made a runway instead, thus providing the opportunity to study the recovery of the vegetation [goto ref]. Since then regular monitoring has continued, and the latest instalment has recently been published (Stewart Brown et al. 2006. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, 38: 325-334)

Old man Ra. summit soon after the completion of road excavations in 1974

Recovery of the vegetation as at 1986, with prominent re-growth of the tussock Poa colensoi