Our research focuses on the interactions of plants with their environment and the processes that control the functioning of ecosystems. We investigate how trees, shrubs and herbs cope with changes in environmental conditions, for example, how they manage to survive with increasing temperatures or decreasing rainfall.
We examine how entire ecosystems respond to change, and how the cycling of different essential elements, like nitrogen, carbon or water, is influenced by changes in environmental conditions. We measure how much carbon is absorbed by natural ecosystems, and quantify how climate variation influence their growth and their uptake or release of greenhouse gases.
Our research investigates plant performance under environmental stress and this allows us to predict which plant species will be vulnerable or resilient to changes in climate or environmental conditions. This means we are able to assess the vulnerability of tree species in native forests or urban streets, and to select plants for restored or designed ecosystems like green roofs and walls.
The Ecophysiology Research Group operates at the Burnley, Creswick and Parkville campuses of the University of Melbourne. Our main ecophysiology labs are based at Burnley.
500 Yarra Boulevard
Richmond, 3121, VIC, Australia
Stefan Arndt (sarndt(at)unimelb.edu.au)
PH +61 3 9035 6819
Role of functional traits in plant stress tolerance
Functional traits are characteristics of plants that are important for the responses of plants to environmental changes. We study many water relation traits and their role in how plants adjust and adapt to environmental stresses, like drought stress. We investigate which traits are important to make plants more drought tolerant and assess the role of the traits in the plant stress tolerance strategies. We also investigate what controls the plant trait expression: if trait expression is under strong genetic control then plants may be more vulnerable in a rapidly changing climate. If trait expression is plastic and adjusted if the environmental conditions change then plants may be more resilient. We use this information to inform plant selection for future climates.
Carbon and greenhouse gas balance of forest ecosystems
Forests are one of the most important biological carbon sinks on the planet, yet we still do not fully understand the processes and dynamics of forest growth. In this theme we investigate the processes that influence tree growth and forest ecosystem carbon dynamics. We measure when trees grow what kind of organs and how environmental variables are influencing these processes. We also measure the key carbon and greenhouse gas fluxes in forest ecosystems to investigate when forests are sinks or sources for greenhouse gases. Much of this research is focussed on our long-term research site in the Wombat Forest, part of TERN OzFlux and TERN SuperSites of the national Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network.
Stefan Arndt, Stefan researches how plants adapt to environmental stresses and investigates how forest ecosystems respond to changes in our climate.
Personal webpage, Google Scholar, orcid.org/0000-0001-7086-9375, Researcher ID
Claire Farrell, Claire investigates how plants can make Australian cities more liveable. She designs green infrastructure, including green roofs, facades and raingardens for drought tolerance, stormwater mitigation and improved biodiversity.
Rebecca Miller, Rebecca is an ecophysiologist interested in the physiological and biochemical responses of plants to the environment, including the chemical ecology of plant-herbivore and plant-pollinator interactions.
Chris Szota, Chris studies how plants improve the effectiveness of engineered vegetated systems, like green roofs, street tree pits and raingardens, in reducing the volume of polluted stormwater entering urban waterways.
Edita Ritmeiertje (PhD) Edita studies floral chemical defence – cyanogenesis – in the plant family Proteaceae. Her work investigates optimal allocation of defence metabolites from floral tissues at fine scale to population level
Tom Sayers (PhD) Tom studies the ecology and evolution of plant-pollinator interactions using multidisciplinary approaches, and specialise in the pollinators, chemical ecology, and thermogenesis of Australian Araceae.
Carola Pritzkow (PhD 2015-19) Drivers of drought-related physiological, morphological and anatomical trait expressions in a temperate eucalypt
Mashlahatul Umami (MSc 2019) Impact of drought and phytophthora on eucalypt water relations
Pengzhen Du (PhD 2014-18)- Selection of shurbs for green roofs
Paul Hanley (MSc 2018) – Assessing the vulnerability of Melbourne’s urban forest to future climates
Merryn Smith (PhD 2014-18) – Dynamics of non-structural carbohydrates in eucalypts
Chiri, E., Greening, C., Arndt, S.K., Nauer, P.A. (2019) Termite mounds contain distinct methanotroph communities that are kinetically adapted to elevated methane concentrations. ISME Journal (in revision)
Griebel, A., Bennett, L.T., Metzen, D., Pendall, E., Lane, P.N.J., Arndt S.K. (2019) Decoupling of carbon and water fluxes under high temperatures in a temperate forest. Biogeosciences (in revision)
Nguyen T.T., Arndt, S.K., Baker, P.J. (2019) Leaf physiological responses to drought stress and community assembly in an Asian savanna. Forests (in revision)
Pritzkow, C., Williamson, V.G., Szota, C., Trouve, R., Arndt, S.K. (2019) Phenotypic plasticity and genetic adaptation of functional traits influences intra-specific variation in hydrological efficiency and safety. Tree Physiology (in revision)
Morris, R.L., Strain, E.M.A., Konlechner, T.M., Fest, B.J., Kennedy, D. M., Arndt, S.K., Swearer, S.E. (2019) Developing a nature-based coastal defence strategy for Australia. Australian Journal of Civil Engineering (accepted 23.08.2019)
Du, P. Arndt, S.K., Farrell, C. (2019) Can the turgor loss point be used to assess drought response to select plants for green roofs in hot and dry climates? Plant and Soil 441: 399-408
Du, P. Arndt, S.K., Farrell, C. (2019) Is plant survival on green roofs related to their drought response, water use or climate of origin? Science of the Total Environment 667: 25-32
Zhang, Z, Szota, C, Fletcher, TD, Williams, NSG & Farrell, C (2019) Green roof storage capacity can be more important than evapotranspiration for retention performance Journal of Environmental Management 232: 404–412
Szota C, AM Coutts, JK Thom, HK Virahsawmy, TD Fletcher, SJ Livesley (2019) Street tree stormwater control measures can reduce runoff but may not benefit established trees. Landscape and Urban Planning 182 144-155
Nauer, P., Hutley, L.B., Arndt, S.K. (2018) Microbial methane oxidation in termite mounds mitigates half of termite methane emissions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115: 13306-13311
Smith, M.G., Arndt, S.K., Miller, R.E., Kasel, S., Bennett, L.T. (2018) Trees use more non-structural carbohydrate reserves during epicormic than basal resprouting. Tree Physiology 38: 1779-1791
Du, P., Arndt, S.K., Farrell, C. (2018) Relationships between plant drought response, traits and climate of origin for green roof plant selection. Ecological Applications 28: 1752-1761
Zeng, F., Liu, B., Song, C., Luo, W., Arndt, S.K. (2018) Root architechture and biomass features of Alhagi sparsifolia Shap. seedlings in different water treatments. Vegetos-An international Journal of Plant Research 31: 83-89
Szota, C., McCarthy, M.J., Sanders, G.J., Farrell, C., Fletcher T.D., Arndt, S.K., Livesley, S.J. (2018) Tree water-use strategies to improve stormwater retention performance of biofiltration systems. Water Research 144: 285-295
Nauer, P., Chiri, E., de Souza D., Hutley, L.B., Arndt, S.K. (2018) Rapid image-based field methods improve the quantification of termite mound structures and greenhouse-gas fluxes. Biogeosciences 15: 3731-3742
Mallik, K., Toivonen, E., Trebs, I., Boegh, E., Cleverly, J., Eamus, D., Koivusalo, H., Drewry, D., Arndt, S.K., Griebel, A., Beringer, J., Garcia, M. (2018) Bridging thermal remote sensing and physically based evapotranspiration modelling: from theoretical implementation to validation across an aridity gradient in Australian ecosystems. Water Resources Research 54: 3409-3435
Hartmann, H., Moura C., Anderegg, W., Ruehr, N., Salmon, Y., Allen, C.D., Arndt, S.K., Breshears, D., Davi, H., Galbraith, D., Ruthruf, K., Wunder, J., Adams, H., Bloemen, J., Cailleret, M., Cobb, R., Gessler, A., Grams, T., Jansen, S., Lloret, F., O’Brien, M. (2018) Research frontiers for improving our understanding of drought-induced tree and forest mortality. New Phytologist 218: 15-28
Nauer, P.A., Fest, B.J., Visser, L., Arndt, S.K. (2018) On-farm trial on the effectiveness of the nitrification inhibitor DMPP indicates no benefits under commercial Australian farming practices. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 253: 82-89
Smith, M.G., Miller, R.E., Arndt, S.K., Kasel, S., Bennett, L.T. (2018) Whole-tree distribution and temporal variation of non-structural carbohydrates in broadleaf evergreen trees. Tree Physiology 38: 570-581
Zhang, Z, Szota, C, Fletcher, TD, Williams, NS, Werdin, J & Farrell, C (2018) Influence of plant composition and water use strategies on green roof stormwater retention Science of The Total Environment 625: 775–781
Grey V, Livesley, SJ, Fletcher TD, Szota C (2018) Establishing street trees in stormwater control measures can double tree growth when extended waterlogging is avoided. Landscape and Urban Planning 178: 122-129
Grey V, Livesley SJ, Fletcher TD, Szota C (2018) Tree pits to help mitigate runoff in dense urban areas Journal of Hydrology 565: 400-410
Robertson JJ, Fletcher TD, Danger A, Szota C (2018) Identifying critical inundation thresholds to maintain vegetation cover in stormwater treatment wetlands Ecological Engineering 116: 80-86
Waterman MJ, Bramley‐Alves J, Miller RE, Keller PA, Robinson SA (2018) Photoprotection enhanced by red cell wall pigments in three East Antarctic mosses. Biological Research 51:49.
Robinson SA, King DH, Bramley‐Alves J, Waterman MJ, Ashcroft MB, Wasley J, Turnbull JD, Miller RE, Ryan‐Colton E, Benny T, Mullany K, Clarke LJ, Barry LA, Hua Q. (2018) Rapid change in East Antarctic terrestrial vegetation in response to regional drying. Nature Climate Change 8: 879–884.
Fernando DR, Lynch JP, Reichman SM, Clark GJ, Miller RE, Doody TM. (2018) Inundation of a floodplain lake woodlands system: nutritional profiling and benefit to mature Eucalyptus largiflorens (Black Box) trees. Wetlands Ecology and Management 26:961‐975.
Marchin RM, Mchugh I, Simpson RR, Ingram LJ, Balas DS, Evans BJ, Adams MA (2018) Productivity of an Australian mountain grassland is limited by temperature and dryness despite long growing seasons. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 256, 116-124.
Webb JR, Santos IR, Maher DT, Macdonald B, Robson B, Isaac P, Mchugh I (2018) Terrestrial versus versus aquatic carbon fluxes in a subtropical agricultural floodplain over an annual cycle. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 260, 262-272
Hinko-Najera, N., Isaac, P., Beringer, J., van Gorsel, E., Ewenz, C., McHugh, I., Exbrayat, J.F., Livesley, S.J., Arndt, S.K. (2017) Net ecosystem carbon exchange of a dry temperate eucalypt forest. Biogeosciences 14: 3781-3800
Farrell, C., Szota, C., Arndt, S.K. (2017) Does the turgor loss point characterise drought response in dryland plants? Plant, Cell and Environment 40: 1500-1511
Szota, C., Farrell, C., Williams, N.S.G., Arndt, S.K., Fletcher, T.D. (2017) Drought-avoiding plants with low water use can achieve high rainfall retention without jeopardising survival on green roofs. Science of the Total Environment 603-604: 340-351.
Griebel, A., Bennett, L.T., Arndt, S.K. (2017) Evergreen and ever growing – stem and canopy growth dynamics of a temperate eucalypt forest. Forest Ecology and Management389: 417-426
Szota, C, Fletcher, T, Desbois, C, Rayner, J, Williams, N & Farrell, C (2017), ‘Laboratory Tests of Substrate Physical Properties May Not Represent the Retention Capacity of Green Roof Substrates In Situ’, Water 9: 920
Fest, B.J., Hinko-Najera, N., Wardlaw, T., Griffith, D.W.T., Livesley, S.J., Arndt, S.K. (2017) Soil methane oxidation in both dry and wet temperate eucalypt forests is determined by soil air-filled porosity Biogeosciences 14: 467-479
Fest, B.J., Hinko-Najera, N., von Fischer, J.C., Livesley, S.J., Arndt, S.K. (2017) Rainfall reduction increases methane uptake in forest soil – a negative feedback to climate change? Ecosystems 20: 368-379
Richards, PJ, Williams, NS, Fletcher, TD & Farrell, C (2017) Can raingardens produce food and retain stormwater? Effects of substrates and stormwater application method on plant water use, stormwater retention and yield Ecological Engineering 100: 165–174
Beringer J, Mchugh I, Hutley LB, Isaac P, Kljun N (2017) Technical note: Dynamic INtegrated Gap-filling and partitioning for OzFlux (DINGO). Biogeosciences, 14, 1457-1460.
Isaac P, Cleverly J, Mchugh I, Van Gorsel E, Ewenz C, Beringer J (2017) OzFlux data: network integration from collection to curation. Biogeosciences, 14, 2903-2928
Mchugh ID, Beringer J, Cunningham SC, Baker PJ, Cavagnaro TR, Mac Nally R, Thompson RM (2017) Interactions between nocturnal turbulent flux, storage and advection at an “ideal” eucalypt woodland site. Biogeosciences, 14, 3027-3050
Bristow M., Hutley L.B., Beringer J., Livesley S.J., Edwards, A.C, Arndt S.K. (2016) Greenhouse gas emissions from tropical savanna deforestation and conversion to agriculture, Biogeosciences 13: 6285-6303
E. van Gorsel, E., Wolf S., Isaac, P., Cleverly, J., Haverd, V., Ewenz, C., Arndt, S.K., Beringer, J., Resco de Dios, V., Evans, B.J., Griebel, A., Hutley, L.B., Keenan, T., Kljun, N., Macfarlane, C., Meyer, W.S., McHugh, I., Pendall, E., Prober, S., Silberstein, R. (2016) Carbon uptake and water use in woodlands and forests in southern Australia during an extreme heat wave event in the ‘Angry Summer’ of 2012/2013 Biogeosciences 13: 5947-5964
Beringer, J., Hutley, L.B., McHugh, I., Arndt, S.K., Campbell, D., Cleugh, H., Cleverly, J., Resco de Dios, V., Eamus, D., Evans, B., Ewenz, C., Grace, P., Griebel, A., Haverd, V., Hinko-Najera, N., Huete, A., Isaac, P., Leuning, R., Liddell, M.J. Macfarlane, C., Mayer, W., Moore, C., Pendall, E., Phillips, A., Phillips, R.L., Prober, S., Restrepo-Coupe, N., Rutledge, S., Schroder, I., Silberstein, R., Southall, P., Sun, M., Tapper, N.J., Walker, J., & Wardlaw T. (2016) An introduction to the Australian flux tower network OzFlux. Biogeosciences 13: 5895-5916
Karan, M., Liddell, M., Arndt, S.K., Beringer, J., Boer, M., Cleverly, J., Eamus, D., Grace, P., Van Gorsel, E., Hero, J.-M., Hutley, L., Metcalfe, D., Meyer, W., Pendall, E., Prober, S., Wardlaw, T. (2016) The Australian SuperSite Network: a new approach to establishing a continental, long-term terrestrial ecosystem observatory. Science of the Total Environment 568: 1263-1274 IF 3.98
Liu, B., He, J., Zeng, F., Lei, J., Arndt S.K. (2016) Life span and structure of ephemeral root modules of different functional groups from a desert system. New Phytologist 211: 103-112 IF 7.21
Cernusak, L.A.,Barbour, M.M., Arndt, S.K., Cheesman A.W., English, N.B., Field, T.S., Helliker, B.R., Holloway-Phillips, M.M., Holtum, J.A.M., Kahmen A., McInerney, F.A., Munksgaard, N.C., Simonin, K.A., Song, X., Stuart-Williams, H., West, J.B., Farquhar, G.D. (2016) Stable isotope enrichment in leaf water of terrestrial plants. Plant, Cell and Environment39: 1087-1102. IF 6.17
Mitchell, P.J., O’Grady, A.P., Pinkard, E.A., Arndt, S.K., Blackman, C.J., Brodribb, T.J, Duursma, R., Fensham, R.J., Hilbert, D.W., Nitschke C.R., Norris, J., Roxburgh, S., Ruthrof, K.X., Tissue, D. T. (2016) Towards an ecologically relevant definition of drought and its impacts. Global Change Biology 22: 1677-1689. IF 8.44
Griebel, A., Bennett, L.T., Metzen, D., Cleverly, J., Burba, G., Arndt, S.K. (2016) Effects of inhomogeneities in flux footprints on the interpretation of seasonal, annual, and interannual ecosystem carbon exchange. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 221: 50-60 IF 4.46
Rayner, JP, Farrell, C, Raynor, KJ, Murphy, SM & Williams, NS (2016) Plant establishment on a green roof under extreme hot and dry conditions: the importance of leaf succulence in plant selection Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 15: 6–14
Brown AL, Cavagnaro, TR, Gleadow R, Miller RE (2016) Interactive effects of temperature and drought on cassava growth and toxicity: implications for food security? Global Change Biology 22: 3461–3473
Moore CE, Beringer J, Evans B, Hutley LB, Mchugh I, Tapper NJ (2016) The contribution of trees and grasses to productivity of an Australian tropical savanna. Biogeosciences, 13, 2387-2403.
Farrell, C., Szota, C., Arndt, S.K. (2015) Urban plantings: ‘Living laboratories’ for climate change response. Trends in Plant Science 20:597-599 IF 10.90
Arndt, S.K., Irawan, A., Sanders G.J. (2015) Apoplastic water fraction and rehydration techniques introduce significant errors in measurements of relative water content and osmotic potential in plant leaves. Physiologia Plantarum 155: 355-368 IF 3.52
Fest B.J., Wardlaw, T., Livesley, S.J., Duff, T.J, Arndt, S.K. (2015) Changes in soil moisture drive soil methane uptake along a fire regeneration chronosequence in a Eucalypt forest landscape. Global Change Biology 21: 4250-4264 IF 8.44
Arndt, S.K., Sanders, G.J., Bristow, M., Hutley, L.B., Beringer, J., Livesley, S.J. (2015) Vulnerability of native savanna trees and exotic Khaya senegalensis to seasonal drought. Tree Physiology 35: 783-791 IF 3.60
Griebel, A., Bennett, L.T., Culvenor, D.S., Newnham, G.J., Arndt, S.K. (2015) Reliability and limitations of a novel terrestrial lidar scanner for continuous monitoring of forest canopy dynamics. Remote Sensing of Environment 166: 205-2013 IF 5.10
Szota, C, Farrell, C, Livesley, SJ & Fletcher, TD (2015) Salt tolerant plants increase nitrogen removal from biofiltration systems affected by saline stormwater Water Research 83: 195–204
Richards, PJ, Farrell, C, Tom, M, Williams, NS & Fletcher, TD (2015) Vegetable raingardens can produce food and reduce stormwater runoff Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 14: 646–654
Laidlaw W.S., Baker A.J.M., Gregory D., Arndt S.K. (2015) Irrigation water quality influences heavy metal uptake by willows in biosolids. Journal of Environmental Management. 155: 31-39 IF 3.13
Majumder R., Livesley S.J., Gregory D., Arndt S.K. (2015) Storage management influences greenhouse gas emissions from biosolids. Journal of Environmental Management 151: 361-368 IF 3.13
Hinko-Najera N., Fest B., Livesley S.J., Arndt S.K. (2015) Reduced throughfall decreases autotrophic respiration, but not heterotrophic respiration in a dry temperate broadleaved evergreen forest. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 200: 66-77 IF 4.214
Fest B.J., Livesley S.J., von Fischer J.C., Arndt S.K. (2015) Repeated fuel reduction burns have little long term impact on soil greenhouse gas exchange in dry sclerophyll eucalypt forests. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 201: 17-25 IF 4.46
Pisek J., Govind A., Arndt S.K., Hocking D., Wardlaw T., Fang H., Matteucci G., Longdoz B. (2015) Intercomparison of clumping index estimates from POLDER, MODIS, and MISR data over reference sites. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 101: 47-56 IF 4.19
Beringer J., Hutley L., Abramson D., Arndt S.K., Bristow M., Canadell J.G., Cernusak L., Eamus D., Evans B., Fest B., Goergen K., Grover S., Hacker J., Haverd V., Kanniah K., Livesley S., Lynch A., Maier S., Moore C., Raupach M., Russell-Smith J., Tapper N., Uotila P. (2014) Fire in the Australian savannas: from leaves to landscape. Global Change Biology. 21: 62-81 (DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12686 ) IF 8.44
Hamel P, Mchugh I, Coutts A, Daly E, Beringer J, Fletcher TD (2015) Automated Chamber System to Measure Field Evapotranspiration Rates. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, 20
Donohue R.J., Hume I.H., Roderick M.L., McVicar T.R., Beringer J., Hutley L.B., Gallant J.C., Austin J.M., van Gorsel E., Cleverly J.R., Meyer W.S., Arndt S.K. (2014) A diffuse-light function for estimating light use efficiency and gross photosynthesis of vegetation. Remote Sensing of Environment 155: 349-365 IF 5.10
Crausbay S., Genderjahn S., Hotchkiss S., Sachse D., Kahmen A., Arndt S.K. (2014) Vegetation dynamics at the upper reaches of a tropical montane forest are driven by disturbance over the past 7300 years. Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research 46: 787-799 IF 1.46
Majumder R., Livesley S.J., Gregory D., Arndt S.K. (2014) Biosolid stockpiles are a significant point source for greenhouse gas emissions. Journal of Environmental Management143: 34-43 IF 3.31
Xin K., Huang X., Hu J., Li C., Yang X., Arndt S.K. (2014) Land use Change Impacts on Heavy Metal Sedimentation in Mangrove Wetlands—A Case Study in Dongzhai Harbor of Hainan, China. Wetlands 34: 1-8 IF 1.50
Lee, KE, Williams, KJ, Sargent, LD, Farrell, C & Williams, NS (2014) Living roof preference is influenced by plant characteristics and diversity Landscape and Urban Planning 122: 152–159
Cao, CTN, Farrell, C, Kristiansen, PE & Rayner, JP (2014) Biochar makes green roof substrates lighter and improves water supply to plants Ecological Engineering 71: 368–374
Miller RE, Gleadow RM, Cavagnaro TC (2014) Age versus stage: does ontogeny modify the effect of phosphorus and arbuscular mycorrhizas on above‐ and below‐ground defence in forage sorghum. Plant Cell Environ. 37: 929‐42
Hoffmann B., Kahmen A., Cernusak L.A., Arndt S.K., Sachse D (2013) Abundance and distribution of leaf wax n-alkanes in the leaves of Acacia and Eucalyptus trees along a strong humidity gradient in northern Australia Organic Geochemistry 62: 62-67
Farrell C., Szota C., Williams N.S.G., Arndt S.K. (2013) High water users can be drought tolerant: using physiological traits for green roof plant selection. Plant and Soil 372: 177-193
Zeng F., Lu Y., Liu B., Guo H., Zeng J., Zhang L., Arndt S.K. (2013) One year old seedling biomass distribution and root architecture characteristics differed between two desert plants: Tamarix ramosissima and Alhagi sparsifolia. Arid Land Research and Management 27: 298-302.
Liu B., Zeng FJ, Arndt SK, He JX, Luo WC, Song C (2013) Patterns of root architecture adaptation of a phreatophytic perennial desert plant in a hyperarid desert. South African Journal of Botany 86: 56-62
Zeng F., Song C., Guo H., Liu B., Luo W., Gui D., Arndt S., Guo D. (2013) Responses of root growth of Alhagi sparsifolia Shap. (Fabaceae) to different simulated groundwater depths in the southern fringe of the Taklimakan Desert, China. Journal of Arid Land 5: 220-232
Xin K., Zhou Q., Arndt S.K., Yang X. (2013) Invasive capacity of the mangrove Sonneratia apetala in Hainan Island, China. Journal of Tropical Forest Science 25: 70-78.
Kahmen A., Hoffmann B., Schefuss E., Arndt S.K., Cernusak L.A., West J.B., Sachse D. (2013). Leaf water enrichment in deuterium shapes leaf wax n-alkane δD values of angiosperm plants II: Observational evidence and global implications. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 111: 50-63.
Jamali H., Livesley S.J., Hutley, L.B., Fest B.J., Arndt S.K. (2013). The relationship between termite mound CH4/CO2 emissions and internal concentration ratios are species specific. Biogeosciences 10: 2229-2240
Mok H.F., Majumder R., Laidlaw W.S., Gregory D., Baker A.J.M., Arndt S.K. (2013) Native Australian species are effective in extracting multiple heavy metals from biosolids. International Journal of Phytoremediation 15: 615-632
Farrell, C, Ang, XQ & Rayner, JP (2013) Water-retention additives increase plant available water in green roof substrates Ecological Engineering 52: 112–118
Miller RE and Tuck KL (2013) Reports on the distribution of aromatic cyanogenic glycosides in Australian tropical rainforest tree species of the Sapindaceae and Lauraceae. Phytochemistry, 92: 146‐152.
Miller RE and Tuck KL (2013) The rare cyanogen proteacin, and dhurrin, from Polyscias australiana, a tropical Araliaceae. Phytochemistry 93:210‐215.
Vandegeer R, Miller RE, Bain M, Gleadow RM, Cavagnaro TR. (2013) Drought adversely affects yield and nutritional quality of cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz). Functional Plant Biology 40: 195‐200.
Mok H.F., Arndt S.K., Nitschke C.R. (2012) Modelling the potential impact of climate variability and change on species regeneration potential in the temperate forests of South-Eastern Australia. Global Change Biology 18: 1053-1072
Grover SPP, Livesley SJ, Hutley LB, Jamali H, Fest B, Beringer J, Butterbach-Bahl K, Arndt SK (2012) Land use change and the impact on greenhouse gas exchange in north Australian savanna soils. Biogeosciences 9: 423-437
Laidlaw W.S., Arndt S.K., Huynh T.T., Gregory D., Baker A.J.M. (2012) Phytoextraction of heavy metals by willows growing in biosolids under field conditions. Journal of Environmental Quality 41: 134-143
Sanders G, Arndt SK (2012) Osmotic adjustment under drought conditions. In: Aroca Alvarez R ed. Plant Responses to Drought Stress: From Morphological to Molecular Features. Springer. p 199-229.
Farrell, C, Hobbs, RJ & Colmer, TD (2012) Microsite and litter cover effects on seed banks vary with seed size and dispersal mechanisms: implications for revegetation of degraded saline land Plant Ecology 213: 1145–1155
Farrell, C, Mitchell, R, Szota, C, Rayner, J & Williams, N (2012) Green roofs for hot and dry climates: interacting effects of plant water use, succulence and substrate Ecological Engineering 49: 270–276
Rosenthal DM, Slattery RA, Miller RE, Grennan AK, Gleadow RM, Cavagnaro TR, Fauquet CM, Ort DR. (2012) Cassava about‐FACE: Greater than expected yield stimulation of cassava (Manihot esculenta) by future CO2 levels. Global Change Biology 18: 2661‐2675
Burns AE, Gleadow RM, Zacarias, AM, Cuambe CE, Miller RE, Cavagnaro TC (2012) Variations in chemical composition of cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) leaves and tuberous roots as affected by genotypic and environmental variation. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 60: 4946‐4956.
Beringer J, Hacker J, Hutley LB, Leuning R, Arndt SK, Amiri R, Bannehr L, Cernusak L, Grover S, Hensley C, Hocking D, Isaac P, Jamali H, Kanniah K, Livesley S, Neininger B, Paw U KT, Sea W, Straten D, Tapper N, Weinmann R, Wood S, Zegelin S. (2011) SPECIAL –Savanna Patterns of Energy and Carbon Integrated Across the Landscape. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 92, 1467–1485.
Jamali H., Livesley S.J., Dawes T., Hutley L.B., Arndt S.K. (2011) Termite mound emissions of CH4 and CO2 are primarily determined by seasonal changes in termite biomass and behaviour. Oecologia 167: 525-534
Jamali H, Livesley SJ, Grover, SP, Dawes TZ, Hutley LB, Cook GD, Arndt SK (2011) The importance of termites to the CH4 balance of a tropical savanna woodland of northern Australia. Ecosystems 14: 698-709
Livesley SJ, Grover S, Hutley LB, Jamali H, Butterbach-Bahl K, Fest BJ, Beringer J, Arndt SK (2011) Seasonal variation and fire effects on CH4, N2O and CO2 exchange in savanna soils of northern Australia Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 151: 1440-1452
Jamali H, Livesley SJ, Dawes T, Cook GD, Hutley LB, Arndt SK (2011) Diurnal and seasonal variation in CH4 flux of termite mounds in tropical savannas of the Northern Territory, Australia. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 151: 1471-1479
Kahmen A., Sachse D., Arndt S.K., Tu K., Farrington H., Vitousek P.M., Dawson T.E. (2011) Cellulose δ18O is an index of atmospheric demand in tropical plants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108: 1981-1986.
Szota, C, Farrell, C, Koch, JM, Lambers, H & Veneklaas, EJ (2011) Contrasting physiological responses of two co-occurring eucalypts to seasonal drought at restored bauxite mine sites Tree Physiology 31: 1052–1066
Farrell, C, Szota, C, Hobbs, RJ & Colmer, TD (2011) Microsite and litter cover effects on soil conditions and seedling recruitment in a saline agricultural system Plant and Soil 348: 397
Miller RE, Grant NM, Watling JR, Giles L, Ribas‐Carbo M, Berry J, and Robinson SA. (2011) In the heat of the night – alternative pathway respiration drives thermogenesis in Philodendron bipinnatifidum. New Phytologist 189: 1013‐1026
Cavagnaro TR, Gleadow RM, Miller RE (2011). Viewpoint: plant nutrient acquisition and utilisation in a high CO2 world. Functional Plant Biology 38: 87‐96.
Livesley SJ, Dougherty BJ, Smith AJ, Navaud D, Wylie LJ, Arndt SK (2010) Soil-atmosphere exchange of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide in urban garden systems: impact of irrigation, fertiliser and mulch. Urban Ecosystems 13 273-283
Miehle P, Grote R, Battaglia M, Feikema PM, Arndt SK (2010) Evaluation of a process-based ecosystem model for long-term biomass and stand development of Eucalyptus globulusplantations. European Journal of Forest Research 129: 377-391
Merchant A, Arndt S, Rowell DM, Posch S, Callister A, Tausz M, Adams MA (2010) Seasonal changes in carbohydrates, cyclitols, and water relations of 3 field grown Eucalyptus species from contrasting taxonomy on a common site. Annals of Forest Science 67: 104
Zeng F, Li X, Zhaneg X, Foetzki A, Arndt SK, Runge M (2010) Variation characteristics of perennial plant species water relation parameters under extreme arid condition. Chinese Journal of Ecology 29: 207-214.
Grant NM, Miller RE, Watling JR and Robinson SA. (2010) Distribution of thermogenic activity in floral tissues of Nelumbo nucifera. Functional Plant Biology, 37: 1085‐1095
Zhang YQ, Leuning R, Hutley LB, Beringer J, Mchugh I, Walker JP (2010) Using long-term water balances to parameterize surface conductances and calculate evaporation at 0.05 degrees spatial resolution. Water Resources Research, 46
Zeng F, Yan H, Arndt SK (2009) Leaf and whole tree adaptations to mild salinity in field grown Populus euphratica. Tree Physiology 29: 1237-1246.
Kahmen A., Livesley S.J., Arndt S.K. (2009) High potential, but low actual, organic N uptake of dominant plant species in three Australian land-use types with intermediate N availability. Plant and Soil 325: 109-121.
Rowell DM, Ades PK, Tausz M, Arndt SK, Adams MA (2009) Lack of genetic variation in tree ring d13C suggests a uniform, stomatally-driven response to drought stress across Pinus radiata D. Don genotpyes. Tree Physiology 29 191-198
Miehle P., Battaglia M., Sands P., Forrester D., Feikema P., Livesley S.J., Morris J., Arndt S.K. (2009) A comparison of four process-based models and a statistical regression model to predict growth of Eucalyptus globulus plantations. Ecological Modelling 220 734-746
Fest B.J., Livesley S.J., Drösler M., van Gorsel E., Arndt S.K. (2009) Soil-atmosphere greenhouse gas exchange in a cool temperate Eucalypt delegatensis forest in south-eastern Australia. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 149 393-406.
Livesley S.J., Miehle P., Weston C.J., Kiese R., Butterbach-Bahl K., Arndt S.K. (2009) Soil–atmosphere exchange of greenhouse gases in a Eucalyptus marginata woodland, a clover-grass pasture, and Pinus radiata and Eucalyptus globulus plantations. Global Change Biology 15 425-440
MerchantA., Arndt S.K., Callister A.N., Adams M.A. (2009) How does Eucalyptus leptophylla(F. Muell) cope with naturally saline conditions in arid Australia? Environmental and Experimental Botany 65 296-303
Nizami, SM, Mirza SN, Livesley S, Arndt S, Fox JC, Khan IA and Mahmood T. (2009). Estimating carbon stocks in sub tropical pine (Pinus roxburghii) forests of Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Agricultural Sciences 46(4): 266-270
Miller RE, Watling JR, Robinson SA. (2009) Functional transition in the floral receptacle of the sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera): from thermogenesis to photosynthesis. Functional Plant Biology 36: 471–480.
Guo H., Zeng F., Arndt S.K., Zeng J., Xing W., Liu B. (2008) Influence of floodwater irrigation on vegetation composition and vegetation regeneration in a Taklimakan desert oasis. Chinese Science Bulletin 53 Supp II 156-163.
Zeng J., Zeng F., Arndt S.K., Guo H., Yan H., Xing W., Liu B. (2008) Growth, physiological characteristics and ion distribution of NaCl stressed Alhagi sparsifolia seedlings. Chinese Science Bulletin 53 Supp II 169-176.
Callister, A.N., Arndt, S.K., Ades, P.K., Merchant, A., Rowell, D., Adams, M.A. (2008) Leaf osmotic potential of Eucalyptus hybrids responds differently to freezing and drought stresses and with little clone variation, Tree Physiology 28 1297-1304
Livesley S.J., Eckard R., Arndt S.K. (2008) Nitrous oxide and methane flux in Australian and New Zealand landscapes: measurements, modeling and mitigation. Plant and Soil 309 1-4
Livesley S.J., Kiese R., Graham J., Weston C.J., Butterbach-Bahl K., Arndt S.K. (2008). Trace gas flux and the influence of short-term soil water and temperature dynamics in Australian sheep grazed pastures of differing productivity. Plant and Soil 309 89-103
Arndt S.K., Livesley S.J., Merchant A., Bleby T.M., Grierson P.F. (2008) Quercitol and osmotic adaptation of field grown Eucalyptus under seasonal drought stress. Plant, Cell and Environment 31 915-924
Kahmen A, Simonin K., Tu K., Merchant A., Callister A.N., Dawson T.E., Arndt S.K. (2008). Physiological, morphological and leaf anatomical effects on leaf water d18O enrichment in different Eucalyptus species. Plant, Cell and Environment 31 738-751
Watling JR, Grant NM, Miller RE, Robinson SA. (2008) Mechanisms of thermoregulation in plants. Plant Signaling and Behavior 3: 595‐597.
Miller RE and Woodrow IE. (2008) Resource availability and the abundance of an N‐based defense in Australian tropical rainforests. Ecology 89: 1503‐1509
Webber BL and Miller RE. (2008) Gynocardin from Baileyoxylon lanceolatum and a revision of cyanogenic glycosides in Achariaceae. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 36: 545‐553.
Grant NM, Miller RE, Watling JR, Robinson SA. (2008) Synchronicity of thermogenic activity, alternative pathway respiratory flux, AOX protein content and carbohydrates in receptacle tissues of sacred lotus during floral development. Journal of Experimental Botany 59: 705‐714
Kutsch WL, Hanan N, Scholes B, Mchugh I, Kubheka W, Eckhardt H, Williams C (2008) Response of carbon fluxes to water relations in a savanna ecosystem in South Africa. Biogeosciences, 5, 1797-1808
Huber E, Wanek W, Gottfried M, Pauli H, Schweiger P, Arndt SK, Reiter K, Richter A. (2007). Natural 15N abundance indicates a shift in soil-plant nitrogen dynamics of an alpine-nival ecotone: a global change perspective. Plant and Soil 301 65-76.
Merchant, A., Callister, A.N., Arndt, S., Tausz, M., Adams, M.A. (2007). Contrasting physiological responses of six Eucalyptus species to water deficit. Annals of Botany 1001507-1515.
Callister, A. N, Ades, P.K., Arndt, S.K., Adams, M.A. (2007). Clonal variation in shoot respiration and tree growth of Eucalyptus hybrids. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 371404-1413.
Macfarlane C., Arndt, S.K., Livesley, S.J., Edgar, A.C., White, D.A., Adams, M.A., Eamus, D. (2007) Estimation of leaf area index in eucalypt forest with vertical foliage, using cover and fullframe fisheye photography. Forest Ecology and Management 242 756-763.
Szota C, Veneklaas EJ, Koch JM, Lambers H (2007) Root Architecture of Jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) Trees in Relation to Post‐Mining Deep Ripping in Western Australia. Restoration Ecology 15: S65-S73
Webber BL, Miller RE and Woodrow IE. (2007) Constitutive polymorphic cyanogenesis in the Australian rainforest tree, Ryparosa kurrangii (Achariaceae) Phytochemistry 15: 2068‐2074.
Simon J, Miller RE, Woodrow IE. (2007) Variation in defence strategies in two species of the genus Beilschmiedia across nutrient and rainfall gradients. Plant Biology 9: 152‐157.
Potential student projects
Vulnerability of eucalypts to tree drought mortality
Climatic changes lead to more prolonged droughts in south-eastern Australia and we already observe significant tree death in many forest ecosystems. Eucalyptus is a very diverse tree genus that occurs in every environment in Australia but many eucalypt species have very narrow climatic ranges. This project will investigate if eucalypts with narrow climatic ranges are more vulnerable to tree mortality than eucalypts with broader climatic ranges and assess the potential plant physiological mechanisms for the vulnerability or resilience of the species. The project will focus on plant water relation traits but other methods or traits can be included as the project progresses.
Mechanisms of drought tolerance in trees
Tree species have different mechanisms to tolerate drought events. Some species can adjust their water potential and withstand very long periods of drought by a continued water use. Other species close their stomata very early in a drought event in order to conserve water. However, it is still unknown how these different strategies are related to the aridity of the environment and how the different mechanisms are interlinked. This project will investigate if tree species that have a high plasticity in regulating water use have different fundamental mechanisms of drought tolerance compared to species that have a low plasticity of regulating water use.
Adaptation of urban trees to environmental stresses
Urban trees provide a large range of important ecosystem services but live in an environment that exposes them to multiple environmental stresses. The many impervious surfaces in cities and recent droughts put many tree species in Melbourne under extreme stress and led to extensive mortality. This project will investigate how different urban tree species adapt to drought and assess their drought tolerance and potential to survive in a drier climate. The project will possibly also assess ways how we can best alleviate drought stress for certain species based on their adaptive mechanisms.
Plant selection for future climates
Plants have multiple adaptations to resist or tolerate environmental stresses. However, it is not always clear to what degree their responses are genetically controlled and fixed or influenced by the environment and flexible. Under a rapidly changing climate it would be beneficial if plants can adjust their responses to stresses in a flexible way. This project will investigate the expression of plant functional traits to determine which traits are under strong genetic control and which ones are influenced by environmental variables. This information is critical for selecting the right plants for the right places in natural or urban environments under a future climate.
Carbon balance and growth dynamics of forest ecosystems
Forest ecosystems can sequester large amounts of carbon but it is not always clear when forests grow and how the growth processes of a forest are influenced by environmental parameters such as temperature or rainfall. This project will investigate the growth dynamics of a temperate eucalypt forest to assess, which parts of the forest are growing when, and how the growth is linked to environmental variables.
Vegetated coastal ecosystems, such as seagrasses, salt marshes and mangroves are thought to be very strong carbon sinks. However, it is not clear if their are carbon sinks because they have a high carbon sequestration rates by the vegetation of the ecosystem or if they are very efficient of burying carbon from outside the system (effective sedimentation of allochthonous carbon). This project will investigate the dynamics of “blue carbon” ecosystems in more detail to understand how and when carbon is sequestered by these ecosystems.
Methane uptake of soils
Oxidation of the greenhouse gas methane by methanotorphic bacteria is the only biological sink for this potent greenhouse gas and methane oxidation in forest soils is the largest terrestrial sink. However, we still know very little about this important process. This project will investigate the methane uptake potential of forest soils with different soil properties in order to get a better understanding of the fundamental mechanisms that control methane uptake. This project involves measurements of methane flux in different forest ecosystems around Melbourne and Victoria using greenhouse gas measurement systems.
On this page you will find links to ecophysiological protocols and methods. We provide detailed descriptions on how to measure ecophysiological traits and processes. Feel free to download the protocols and share any feedback you may have.