[ASC-list] Free ANZAAS talk, Melbourne, Wed 18th May, 6:30pm

David Vaux D.Vaux at latrobe.edu.au
Tue May 10 00:27:32 UTC 2011

Free ANZAAS talk, Melbourne Wed 18th May, 6:30pm

All welcome, no booking needed.  Bring your friends!
At: Gene Technology Access Centre, 1H Royal Parade, Parkville
Free drinks and pizza after the talk

Professor Peter Gell
Director, Centre for Environmental Management, University of Ballarat

"Retrospective approaches for understanding the natural ecological character of wetlands"

Our understanding of the natural condition of ecosystems is based largely on a short term perspective. So, we tend to underestimate the magnitude of change that our systems have experienced. Management of wetlands and the allocation of highly contested water resources requires a longer term view to truly report on their condition so that we may reduce the trend of widespread wetland degradation.

This longer term perspective is available through the unearthing of chemical and biological indicators of past wetland condition from sequences of sediment laid down over decades and centuries. In many instances it is clear that the natural character of wetlands is presumed. Syntheses of multiple sediment records across south-eastern Australia reveal widespread shifts in wetland state from productive, clear water systems to turbid systems dominated by phytoplankton. Further, all studied wetlands have experienced degradation through increased flux of sediments, salts and nutrients, since the late 1800s. In several instances, this has produced conditions that have allowed for unprecedented acidification events with recent drying.

This line of evidence reveals that the challenge of wetland restoration is great and that, while the environment is a legitimate stakeholder in water allocations, particularly in a drying climate, there remains a clear need to manage catchments and floodplains to arrest ongoing degradation.


Enter off Story Street or Royal Parade. GTAC is at the south-western end of University High School's oval

ANZAAS Vic is pleased to acknowledge the support by GTAC, CSL, La Trobe University and the University of Melbourne Faculty of Science for the ANZAAS Melbourne science talks series.

Further Info:         Peter Kemeny       0409 028 165                peter.kemeny at gmail.com<mailto:peter.kemeny at gmail.com>


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