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

"I am looking for a highly motivated Master of Philosophy (MPhil) candidate to research the biogeography of Eucalyptus species of South-eastern Australia's temperate forests, which are among the most fire-prone on the planet. The research will focus on the biogeography of leaf and bark traits of eucalypt species that cause spatiotemporal variation in litter quantity and quality and thereby affect the intrinsic flammability of litter fuels in these forests."

Mar 22

Due to our choices, our diverse and incredible world is rapidly changing. Each of us will be affected by the changes that take place on our planet, some more than others. We need to foster a kinder world, one in which we consider impacts to others as if they were happening to ourselves.  This is the message I convey as I share climate science with others. I ask questions and state fewer facts. If as scientists, we engage with society in a dialogue about climate change impacts, we can better understand public concern and lack of public concern.

Apr 5

Weds 5th April 2017

This presentation will focus on possible contributions from fields and disciplines represented by HIE researchers, especially topics pertaining to ligneous materials, microbial environments, and broader issues of sustainability around both energy use and sauna construction. Interested colleagues will be invited to join a new WSU Sauna Studies research group that is hoping to contribute to communal wellbeing and a local and international level.

"I am looking for a highly motivated PhD student to contribute to a new Australian Research Council Discovery project that aims to resolve a number of long-standing questions regarding hydraulic function of plants: at what point in the process of water stress do emboli form in xylem conduits? How do plants recover from these drought-induced disruptions to water transport?

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

"I am looking for two highly motivated and qualified candidates for a PhD program of research based in HIE"s node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis: Functional genomics of C4 photosynthesis to focus on the fine dissection of enzymes regulating the activity of C4 photosynthesis; and Physiology of C4 photosynthesis to investigate the role of stomata and leaf structure in regulating photosynthesis and water use efficiency."

"I am looking for highly motivated PhD student to contribute to a NSW Environmental Trust project "A scientific basis for assisted gene migration under climate change". The project objectives are:

  • Characterise neutral and adaptive genetic variation to estimate demographic and evolutionary processes. Do warm/dry populations harbour adaptive variation for drought resilience?
  • Determine the ecological and physiological capacity to respond to climate change. Do plants growing under rainfall regimes found in their native source population outperform plants from different climates ('local-is-best')? Do warm/dry populations have higher resilience to drought?

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...

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