Systematics and Evolution (HA)
Water for a Healthy Country (CSIRO Flagship Project)
Terrestrial Biodiversity of the Murray Darling Basin
Understanding the functional diversity of communities is a crucial component of whole-system analyses of biodiversity and its role in ecological patterns and processes. In this study we will concentrate on the identification of species level functional traits. Ecosystem functions (e.g. nutrient cycling, formation of biopores and leaching capability) are moderated by the functional attributes of species in a community. To understand how an ecosystem will function, and its ability to provide crucial ecosystem services as well as its capacity to respond to environmental changes, we need to understand both the functional and species diversity of the community. Knowledge about the functional attributes of the species that comprise an ecosystem is crucial to achieving specific management outcomes. This is particularly the case since the question of how these different attributes of community structure relate to community health and sustainability is still unresolved.