The tropical forests of Far North Queensland are one of Australia's great biological treasures. The aim of this project is to survey a significant cross-section of the tree flora of North Queensland to identify tree species that form annual growth rings for dendrochronological studies. We are particularly interested in tree species that may be used to investigate the role of historical disturbances, such as tropical cyclones and fires, on forest dynamics, the influence of climate in northeastern Australia on rain forests and coral reefs. We have conducted preliminary surveys of wood samples from the CSIRO (Clayton, VIC) wood collection and begun field sampling in six sites near Atherton in North Queensland. To date we have sampled ~250 tree species representing nearly all of the tree families in North Queensland. We are currently analyzing the wood samples to develop a short list of species suitable for dendroecological and dendroclimatological research.

Collaborators: Dr. Dan Metcalfe (CSIRO, Sustainable Ecosystems, Atherton)

Research support has been provided by Monash University's Early Career Researcher Program.