The Ecosystem Ecology team investigates the landscape processes that influence the function and persistence of native ecosystems. Fire, drought, climate change, altered hydrological dynamics, weed invasion, fragmentation, urbanisation and altered fauna communities interact with plant traits in complex and powerful ways that can lead to change in the structure, composition, function and condition of ecosystems. Often these changes threaten the values that we attach to ecosystems. Our science aims to understand processes so that we can develop appropriate management responses that optimise conservation outcomes.

Ecosystem processes are the interactions between diverse ecological communities and the external and internal factors that drive dynamic processes within those communities. These interactions can be stabilising or disruptive, they can operate in synergistic or competitive, and diffuse or catastrophic ways. Their action can result in cyclical, chaotic, continuous or step-wise ecosystem change.

Global change processes – climate change, fragmentation, urbanisation, altered hydrological and fire regimes, failure of ecosystem function following from keystone species loss, soil degradation and the introduction of pest animal and plant species – further interact with these ecosystem processes, often to the detriment of the resilience and condition of ecosystems. Understanding how these processes function and interact leads to fascinating science but is also critical for the management of ecosystems for conservation, ecosystem services and risk abatement.

The Ecosystem Ecology currently focuses on three main areas: fire ecology, tree decline and ecosystem change, and plant-animal (pollination, dispersal, herbivory) interactions. The team works in urban bushlands, less disturbed 'intact' vegetation, and restoration sites. It employs tools from community ecology, population ecology, fire science, population genetics, seed science and ecophysiology – and collaborates closely with other sections of Kings Park Science, as well as researchers at UWA, Murdoch University and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.

Please contact Dr Ben Miller with any enquiries relating to Ecosystem Ecology.

COVID-19

The wellbeing of our visitors, volunteers and staff is our number one priority during the current COVID-19 situation. We are closely monitoring and responding to Government health advice and putting extra measures in place to protect our staff, volunteers and visitors.

Bold Park disruption

Banksia Carpark in Bold Park is currently closed to the public due to stormwater damage.

Works at Mount Eliza Reservoir

The Water Corporation will be conducting upgrade works to the Mount Eliza Reservoir inlet in Kings Park from mid-June.

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Poolgarla Family Area launched

The Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority (BGPA) is proud to announce the launch of Poolgarla Family Area, formerly known as Lotterywest Family Area.

'For People & Plants' Special Issue

Stories of ecosystem restoration success are showcased in the latest Special Issue of the Friends of Kings Park magazine 'For People & Plants'.

Kings Park Festival 2021

The countdown is on to the biggest celebration of wildflowers in WA - Kings Park Festival! Running throughout September, the Festival will celebrate the amazing flora of Western Australia blossoming across the State and the thousands of wildflowers in full bloom in Kings Park and Bold Park.

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