The Eucalyptus woodland free-air CO2 enrichment (EucFACE) facility is the only one of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
It is unique in that it provides full-height access to the mature trees within remnant Cumberland Plain Forest, the only FACE system in native forest anywhere in the world. It is sited on naturally low-nutrient soils in what is close to original bushland, and offers researchers an amazing site at which to study the effects of elevated CO2 on water use, plant growth, soil processes and native biodiversity in a mature, established woodland within the Sydney Basin.
There are huge differences in ecosystem response between mature woodland plants compared to young, actively growing plantation forests or agricultural crops.
EucFACE was established in 2010 following recommendation to the Commonwealth to understand how rising atmospheric CO2 concentration and CO2 fertilisation affects tree canopy processes and soil and ecosystem function in an Australian native woodland. The experiment is located in the drier and warmer part of the Sydney basin, receiving 800mm rainfall per annum with periodic droughts.
Previous FACE experiments in Australia include OzFACE in Yabulu, Qld and TasFACE in Hobart, Tasmania. However, these previous experiments were conducted with short-stature, herbaceous vegetation whereas the current effort focuses on mature native Australian woodland vegetation. There are huge differences in ecosystem response between mature woodland plants compared to young, actively growing plantation forests or agricultural crops.
Native woodlands of the Cumberland Plain once covered more than 30% of the Sydney basin but remnants of the Cumberland Plain woodland are now threatened by weed invasion, Sydney's urban sprawl and climate change. The experiment aims to understand carbon sequestration in plants and soils under rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations. In particular, we are looking at thes effects as water availability and demand varies in real-world conditions over a number of years.
The EucFACE experiment is overseen by a committee within the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment and by the FACE Scientific Advisory Committee. The latter includes participation by national and international leaders in the fields of plant ecophysiology, soil microbial function, ecohydrology and ecosystem modelling.
Read more about the EucFACE experiment (including image galleries) via the Facilities Section of this site.
For more information, please contact Professor David Ellsworth.
The Cumberland Plain woodland where the EucFACE site and the Flux Tower are located is an official TERN (Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network) Supersite and therefore part of the Australian-wide TERN Supersite Network. For more information please see the offificial TERN website (opens in a new window).
HIE is pleased to announce Dr Matthias Boer as Project Leader and Dr Victor Resco de Dios as Deputy Leader for our supersite and continued involvement with TERN.