EucFACE Reveals That Australian Trees Limited By Lack Of Nutrients


The EucFACE experiment exposes native woodland to elevated carbon dioxide. We found that:

  • Despite consistent increases in leaf photosynthesis, eucalypts could not put on more wood, stem and leaf growth under elevated CO2.
  • When phosphorus was added in tests, productivity increased by 35%.
  • Findings completely opposite to overseas FACE experiments that found a 23% increase in tree productivity with elevated CO2.
  • Findings demonstrate the importance of Australian science with implications for global climate change models.

Latest News, Events And Highlights

Jul 18

Tues July 18 2017

Prof Paul Struik: Assessing the impact of 3D leaf anatomy on photosynthesis using microscale modelling approaches , followed by Dr Xinyou Yin: Can improvement in leaf photosynthesis increase crop productivity?

"I am seeking a highly motivated PhD candidate to study insect pollinators and crop pollination as part of our major new research project, "Healthy bee populations for sustainable pollination in horticulture", co-funded through Horticulture Innovation Australia's "Pollination Plus" program. Applications close 21 July 2017".

"I am looking for a highly motivated PhD student to conduct research at field sites and in controlled-environment facilities exploring the availability and quality of floral resources across different seasons, and factors influencing pollinator choice of foraging plants."

Sep 5

Participants at our Soils Masterclasses will learn how to adopt practices and strategies to enhance the life in soils and use the power of plant-soil-microbial relationships to unlock soil nutrients, produce healthier and more nutritious plants and understand how microbes drive modern farming success.

This two day program includes:

  • Full overview of soil health, soil biology and nutrition practices that reflect the latest, emerging research findings
  • Conference dinner with delegates at the Sebel Hotel Hawkesbury
  • Conference materials and access to soil health facilities at Western Sydney University's Hawkesbury campus
  • Morning teas, lunches and afternoon teas

7 February 2017: New Volunteering Opportunities

  • Emu Fieldwork - Three Volunteers Needed
  • Christmas Island Flying Fox
  • Ghost Bats
  • Climatic change on plants and insects in the Sydney region

2017 QS University Rankings


The international Quacarelli Symonds Subject Rankings are a worldwide ranking of major disciplines. The criteria for designating a ranking are:

  • Academic peer review
  • Faculty/Student ratio
  • Citations per faculty
  • Employer reputation
  • International student ratio
  • A measurement of the diversity of the student community
  • International staff ratio

For Agriculture and Forestry, and the Environmental Sciences, these 2017 rankings place Western Sydney University within the top 3% of universities in the world.


Quacarelli Symonds Rankings Agriculture and Forestry Top 200 2017

Quacarelli Symonds Rankings Environmental Sciences Top 300 2017

1 February 2017

New international research conducted in collaboration with Western Sydney University's Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment demonstrates the beneficial impact of planting a diverse mix of trees rather than opting for monoculture plantings. In experimental plantings of young temperate trees, the researchers found that the trees in diverse, mixed-species plantings were able to make much better use of light to produce more growth than equivalent trees from single species.

'Success Showcase' Magazine

Success Showcase

Welcome to the Autumn Success Showcase, our showcase magazine of news, research, stories and features from the Hawkesbury Institute...

Summer 2015 Showcase

Selecting Red Gums for a warmer, drier Australia of the future and much more...