Dbytes #140 (11 March 2014)

Info & news for members and associates of the Environmental Decision Group

“I would like to set the challenge for each of our cities to expand urban tree coverage by 10 per cent out till 2025. It is in the new suburbs that these trees are most necessary and most valuable.”
Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, in a speech to the Urban Development Institute (7 March 2014) http://www.environment.gov.au/minister/hunt/2014/sp20140307.html

General News

1. State of the Climate 2014: A clear picture of Australia’s climate
2. Ecological Thinning Trial in NSW and Victorian River Red Gum Forests.
3. ABRS Student Travel Grants

4. Redmap Video Comp 2014

5. Tim Flannery video of his 2014 Krebs Lecture

EDG News
(more details on these items follows general news)

General: Reminder – The Great EDG Video Competition
Hugh Possingham speaks out against lifting protection to marine green zones
Sarah Clement visiting NERP ED Hub at ANU
Novel ecosystems framework applied to the Galapagos
Chris Ives and Cathy Oke speak at urban ecology forum


General News

1. State of the Climate 2014: A clear picture of Australia’s climate

A definitive report on observed changes in long term trends in Australia’s climate has been released by CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology. The report shows that temperatures across Australia were, on average, almost 1°C warmer than they were a century ago, with most of the warming having occurred since 1950. Seven of the ten warmest years on record in Australia have occurred since 1998. When we compare the past 15 years to the period 1951 to1980, we find that the frequency of very warm months has increased five-fold and the frequency of very cool months has decreased by around a third. The duration, frequency and intensity of heatwaves have increased across large parts of Australia since 1950. Extreme fire weather risk has increased, and the fire season has lengthened across large parts of Australia since the 1970s.



2. Ecological Thinning Trial in NSW and Victorian River Red Gum Forests.
[contributed by Mat Hardy]

This Public Environment Report provides comprehensive information on the design of a proposed ecological thinning trial for the NSW Murray Valley National Park (Millewa precinct) and Barmah National Park in Victoria. It also details measures to be adopted to mitigate any impacts from the trial.
Submissions due by 27 March 2014



3. ABRS Student Travel Grants

The 2013-14 round of Aust Biological Resources Study (ABRS) Student Travel Grants is NOW OPEN. The ABRS offers financial support to postgraduate students studying at Australian institutions to travel to a national or international conference or workshop relevant to both the student’s research program in systematics or taxonomy and the Priority Areas for Research Grants.
Applications close 28 April 2014



4. Redmap Video Comp 2014

Create a 45-second video by May 1 to help promote Redmap and raise awareness about ocean warming in Australia!
WHAT IS REDMAP?: Australians are seeing more unusual fish in their local seas. Redmap asks fishers, divers and the public to log these uncommon sightings and photos on the Redmap App or at redmap.org.au. This community data helps marine scientists track species that may be shifting into new areas in response to changes in their local seas, such as ocean warming. Already Redmap’s citizen scientists have logged hundreds of unusual sightings including fish, rays, sharks, octopus, turtles and even sea slugs!

[And while we’re on the topic of video comps, how is your entry going for the great EDG Video Competition, see first item in EDG news below.]


5. Tim Flannery video of his 2014 Krebs Lecture
Professor Tim Flannery discussed a new approach to conservation in an era of climate change ina speech (video).



EDG News

General: Reminder – The Great EDG Video Competition
If you have a good idea for communicating your science or the science of the EDG network, then here is a chance for you to show your creative colours, be in the running for some great prizes and have your work promoted to the world. We want you to make a short video explaining the value of your research.
Entries are now open to all members of the Environmental Decision Group.
Entries close April 4, 2014.
Visit http://dondriscoll.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/edg-video-competition-entry-form-nov-2013.pdf for the brochure.

Brisbane: Hugh Possingham speaks out against lifting protection to marine green zones
Courier Mail story: ‘The move [to allow recreational fishing in protected green zones] has been heavily criticised by University of Queensland ecologist and laureate fellow Hugh Possingham, who said research showed that green zones produced more and larger fish.

“Larger fish have four to five times as many babies as fish half their size,” he said. “That’s why marine reserves are really good. It’s why recreational and professional fishers know to cluster at the edge of reserves because the fish they can catch there are much bigger than those in other areas. Opening up green zones defeats the purpose of fishers who want to catch more and bigger fish.”’

Canberra: Sarah Clement visiting NERP ED Hub at ANU
Sarah Clement (PhD student from the Landscapes and Policy Hub), has taken up residence at the ANU Fenner School. Sarah is a visiting scholar sponsored by Phil Gibbons (NERP Environmental Decisions Hub) and will spend six weeks based in Canberra writing and working. While in Canberra, Sarah intends to advance her hub research with additional discussions around the options for landscape-scale biodiversity governance. As Sarah is usually based in Perth, this is a great opportunity for Canberra based people to catch up with her.

Perth: Novel ecosystems framework applied to the Galapagos
PhD student Mandy Trueman and CEED researchers Richard Hobbs and Rachel Standish co-authored a paper just out on applying the novel ecosystems framework to modified vegetation in the Galapagos. In highly modified, or ‘novel’, ecosystems it is often difficult to decide where limited conservation funds should be spent to reach management goals. The authors tested a recently-developed decision framework for novel ecosystems to help identify management options for modified native vegetation in the humid highlands of the Galapagos Islands.
Trueman, M., Standish, R.J. and Hobbs, R.J. 2014. Identifying management options for modified vegetation: Application of the novel ecosystems framework to a case study in the Galapagos Islands. Biological Conservation 172 37–48.

Melbourne: Chris Ives and Cathy Oke speak at urban ecology forum
Chris Ives and Cathy Oke were part of a recent public forum on urban ecology and biodiversity entitled “Unleashing the Potential of Cities: A nature based approach” at Federation Square in Melbourne. Facilitated by ABC Breakfast’s Virginia Trioli, the forum doubled as a book launch for Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Challenges and Opportunities, a new book arising from the Cities and Biodiversity Outlook project. Following a presentation from one of the book’s editors, Professor Thomas Elmqvist from the Stockholm Resilience Centre, and a short presentation from panel members (Chris, Ruth Beilin from the University of Melbourne and Mark McDonnell from ARCUE Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne), audience members questioned the panel about the effects of urbanisation on biodiversity and ecosystem services, and ways of integrating biodiversity and urban development. A free download of the book is available here: http://cbobook.org/resources.php?r=1&width=1920 and the Melbourne chapter specifically here: http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-007-7088-1_20


About Dbytes
Dbytes is the eNewsletter of the Environmental Decisions Group. If you have any contributions to Dbytes (ie, opportunities and resources that you think might think be of value to other Dbyte readers) please send them to David Salt (David.Salt@anu.edu.au). Please keep them short and provide a link for more info. Also, email David if you want to unsubscribe (or subscribe someone else). While Dbytes is primarily aimed at members of the EDG, anyone is welcome to receive it.

About EDG
The Environmental Decision Group (EDG) is a network of conservation researchers working on the science of effective decision making to better conserve biodiversity. Our members are largely based at the University of Queensland, the Australian National University, the University of Melbourne, the University of Western Australia, RMIT and CSIRO. The EDG is jointly funded by the Australian Government’s National Environmental Research Program (NERP) and the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence program (CEED).

CEED: http://ceed.edu.au/
NERP ED: http://www.nerpdecisions.edu.au/
EDG: http://www.edg.org.au/

EDG major events: http://www.edg.org.au/events.html
Decision Point: http://www.decision-point.com.au/


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