Daintree Discovery Centre backs crucial Rainforest Research

The Daintree Discovery Centre has re-committed to funding critical research by James Cook University on lowland tropical rainforest.

The research is part of long term, Australian-wide monitoring of different ecosystems to discover how they are responding to environmental pressures. 

The Daintree Discovery Centre has announced its continued sponsorship of the work, pledging $6000 a year to James Cook University until 2028.

Daintree Discovery Centre general manager Brian Arnold said James Cook University had set up monitoring equipment at the centre, making it one of the SuperSites in TERN (Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network) –  Australia’s continent-wide environmental observatory.

“The Daintree Discovery centre site includes camera monitoring to identify wildlife. Phenocameras face out over the canopy and take hourly pictures to track the seasonal changes in the leaves and flowers of the rainforest,” he said.

There are 10 major sites in Australia collecting information on fauna, flora, climate and carbon flux.

Mr Arnold said towers at the site house instrumentation to measure exchanges – or flux – of carbon dioxide, water vapour and energy between the terrestrial ecosystem and the atmosphere.

“This important research will uncover the changing carbon and water balance in the Daintree Rainforest as it copes with climate change.”

The Daintree Discovery Centre’s contribution to the research project, including this latest agreement, will total $120,000.

The information provided by the Australian SuperSites contributes to data collected by more than 400 towers around the world, known as FLUXNET.

James Cook University’s Carbon Flux Micrometeorological Research Station project is led by Dr Mike Liddell, an associate professor of Pharmacy and Molecular Sciences. Dr Liddell is based in Cairns.

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