The Calperum Ecosystem Research Site (the Calperum Site) includes an OzFlux tower set in a mallee landscape, and three SuperSite plots covering mallee, Callitris woodland and River Murray floodplain ecosystems; the latter of which is linked with instream monitoring of water quality and quantity. The site also serves as a teaching platform, and focus for ancillary research, regarding earth systems, ecology (in semi-arid and aquatic environments) and hydrology.
The Calperum Site is:
- Investigating fluxes of water vapour, energy and carbon dioxide between the atmosphere, upper soil layers and groundwater, and
- Monitoring the changes in vegetation and dependent biota associated with the different ecosystems of the Site.
Key research questions are:
- What are the fundamental energy, carbon, water and nutrient stocks and flows in Mallee, Callitris woodland and River Murray floodplain ecosystems?
- How are these stocks and flows responding to changes in climate and management (e.g. reduced grazing, controlled fire, and controlled floods on the floodplain)?
- How are biota changing in form, frequency and distribution as climate and management changes?
- How important is the connectivity between these mallee, woodland and floodplain ecosystems for hydrology, faunal movement and as refugia in times of drought?