Future Carbon Projects

Biodiverse Restoration Research Project, TAS

Project

In Tasmania, a revegetation program developed by Greening Australia seeks to not only repair existing degradation, but in doing so is looking ahead to address the impact of climate change.

Why Biodiverse Restoration Research

Greening Australia is exploring how vegetation corridors can be planted for species that need to move around as the climate warms, and what sort of species mix in these plantings will best withstand climate change.

The project is assessing the carbon dioxide capture for the long-term, in plantings that aim to build diversity in the landscape while delivering a financial return. The University of Tasmania will be researching this work for the next 100 years.

About the project

The Biodiverse Restoration Research Project began with three low-rainfall sites in Tasmania’s Midlands, covering a combined 100 hectares. Funds are now in place to expand the project to 1000ha on land made available by Midlands landholders.

The project’s plantings are biodiverse, meaning that different species found at other sites are planted in a single site to find the best mix for carbon capture in that particular area. With future climate change in mind, we are also investigating the suitability of locally-sourced seed for these local revegetation projects.

When faced with climate change, species will tend to move from east to west, toward cooler and moister climates, but they are unable to move across the dry valley of the Midlands. Computer modelling has shown the lowest-cost ways of connecting the Western Tiers to the Eastern Tiers, the two ranges between which the Midlands sits.

The aim is therefore to build stepping-stones that will allow species to move along the valley – in kilometre-wide corridors or paddock-sized blocks.

What we’ve achieved

With 20 past plantings in the Midlands area that are about 30 years old, Greening Australia has been able to calculate how much carbon is growing in similar plantings, and how much is in the mature dry remnants of plantings. Projections suggest that about 400 tonnes of carbon dioxide capture per hectare can be achieved over the first 25 years.

Eventually 100,000ha in the Midlands will be identified that should not have been cleared. These will be planted for carbon dioxide capture, which will give a return to the landholder while supporting species movement across the landscape.

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