Ecology is currently collaborating on an exciting project focused on ecology
research to address critical priorities concerning ecohydrological responses to
coal seam gas extraction and coal mining. The Office of Water Science,
Department of Environment, has commissioned a multidisciplinary
consortium, led by Griffith University and including the University of New
South Wales, Edith Cowan University and Subterranean Ecology Pty Ltd, to carry
out a research program in 2015-2016.
The current project
involves an integrated programme of research that addresses key elements within
each of four major components: (1) Ecohydrology of groundwater dependent
terrestrial vegetation; (2) Ecological values of base-flow and surface
water-groundwater connectivity regimes in non-perennial streams; (3)
Hydrogeochemistry, biogeochemical processes and the hyporheos / stygofauna; (4)
Composition and resilience of Great Artesian Basin spring communities.
Click here to access the current research project flyer.
3 is being undertaken by Subterranean Ecology and the University of New South
Wales Connected Waters Research Initiative Centre. This component aims to
understand how changes in hyporheic exchange and biogeochemical conditions
affect the ecological conditions for hyporheos and stygofauna. More
specifically this component will look at how changes in hydrology, especially
groundwater drawdown, affect organic carbon cycling, nutrient cycling, redox biogeochemical
and microbial processes, and hyporheos and stygofauna.
The research components were scoped at a workshop in July 2014 and published in a report titled Modelling water-related ecological responses to coal seam gas extraction and coal mining. Click here to access the 2014 workshop report