Archive for March, 2012

Managing our nocturnal neighbours – public forum

A special public forum exploring the interactions between people and bats in a rapidly urbanising world will be held on April 11th at the University of Melbourne as part of the 15th Australasian Bat Society Conference. This forum is for: • Government environmental & biodiversity officers • Ecological consultants, arborists, landscape planners • Educators and students […]

ARCUE Scientists Close Hume Highway

On a Saturday in June of last year, traffic on the busy Hume Highway near Benalla was diverted for an unusual reason. The first of three rope bridges and three ‘glider poles’ were being installed to provide a means for squirrel gliders, possums and other native animals to pass safely across the road. The bridge […]

Seedbanks and Plant Invasions in Victoria’s Grasslands

At the end of 2006, Honours student Aaron Dodd finished his investigation into seed banks and plant invasions of Victoria’s, Western basalt plains grasslands, looking at the effects of landscape on the spatial pattern of the seed banks. He took numerous soil cores from grasslands along a 200 km urban – rural gradient running west […]

Urbanisation and Plant Traits Working Group

During February and again in December 2007 ARCUE hosted a workshop funded by the Australian Research Council / NZ Landcare Research Network for Vegetation Function to discuss the relationship between urbanisation and plant functional traits. The Network funds researchers to bring scientists from different disciplines together to address high-impact research questions that can benefit from […]

ARCUE Consultancy Services

ARCUE is recognised across Australia and overseas as a centre of excellence studying the effects of urbanisation and associated developments on the natural environment. It is essential that this knowledge and understanding be disseminated to the community to achieve sustainable human settlements. In the past we have done this by training students, publishing the results […]

The Role of Stormwater Retention Ponds in Maintaining Populations of Birds and Frogs

Stormwater retention ponds are commonly created in new residential and industrial estates, as well as along roads, to mitigate the impact of stormwater runoff on urban waterways. Retention ponds also provide habitat for wildlife and green open spaces for human recreation, and have the potential to mitigate wetland loss in urban areas. However, the factors […]

Frogs in Urban Ponds in Greater Melbourne

Dr. Andrew Hamer has recently completed the field research part of a project that investigated the effects of urbanisation on frog communities. His main aim was to find out what local habitat variables were responsible for the number of frog species observed breeding at ponds in urban areas. Andrew surveyed frogs and tadpoles between November […]

Ecology of Cities and Towns – An Exciting Book

The unprecedented growth of cities and towns around the world, coupled with the unknown effects of global change, has created an urgent need to increase ecological understanding of human settlements, in order to develop inhabitable, sustainable cities and towns in the future. Although there is a wealth of knowledge regarding the understanding of human organisation […]

Urban Fungal Diversity

Mark Newbound has been researching the effect of urbanisation on fungi. Over the last three and a half years he has assessed fungal diversity in red gum woodland remnants along an urban-rural gradient to the north of Melbourne. He surveyed fungi using the classical method of collecting fruiting bodies, as well as using the most […]

Traffic Noise Changes Frog Calls and Bird Song

Many animals use sound to communicate with each other – to attract mates, defend territories, beg for food, or warn of danger from approaching predators. Background noise makes it harder for animals to hear a song or a call. The number of roads and the volume of traffic that travels on them have been increasing […]