Two new Honours students have recently joined the RCAAE under the supervision of Dr John Morgan and Dr Susanna Venn.
Lauren is investigating the potential for alpine herbs and grasses to disperse. Currently there is almost no field data on seed dispersal, but it is an important research topic given the need for species to disperse to track their changing climate envelope. Using a series of novel seed traps (that capture seeds dispersing at 30 cm and 1.8 m above the ground), she will quantify seed rain and the seed traits that help predict dispersal.
Aviya is investigating long-term change in alpine and sub-alpine treelines in the Bogong High Plains area. Treelines are susceptible to movement as climate warming occurs, but there have been no recent assessments of this phenomenon in Australia. Using permanent transects established in 1999-2002, she will examine evidence for treeline movement and how recent fires have impacted on the position of the treeline.
Left photo: Lauren testing her novel seed traps at Falls Creek. Right photo: Aviya and supervisor John Morgan examining treelines on the Bogong High Plains.