The Great Outback

Author: Rob Salguero-Gómez

Some of the facilities at the numerous camps include: great views, spa, coffee, gourmet kitchen and open fires. Source: R. Salguero-Gómez

Some of the facilities at the numerous camps include: great views, spa, coffee, gourmet kitchen and open fires. Source: R. Salguero-Gómez

I spent the last month in the Simpson Desert (center of Australia) in collaboration with A/Prof Glenda Wardle from the Desert Ecology Research Group at the University of Sydney. During that time, two new NutNet sites were established in spinifex-dominated regions. One of them, recently burned, likely contains the lowest biomass productivity of the whole NutNet network. Together, both sites will be critical in increasing the statistical strength of global predictions on the role of nutrient addition and herbivory on grass species composition and diversity (see Adler et al. 2011 Science). Continue reading

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New NutNet site at UQ’s brand new Terrestrial Ecology Research Facility

Author: Y. Buckley

Yvonne Buckley, Natalie Kerr and Rebecca Harris building fences - R. Salguero-Gomez

Yvonne Buckley, Natalie Kerr and Rebecca Harris building fences – R. Salguero-Gomez

With the help of NutNet founders Elizabeth Borer and Eric Seabloom, we marked out plots, built fences, determined species composition and collected soil and biomass samples for the important pre-treatment observational phase of the newest site in the global Nutrient Network (NutNet) initiative.  The plots are located at UQ’s brand new Terrestrial Ecology Research Facility (TERF), about 15km west of UQ.  Setting up and sampling the plots was truly a team effort so thanks to the lab members, volunteers and experts who helped out! Continue reading