Ecosystem Services from large urban green spaces

FUNDING: Australian Research Council, The Australian Golf Course Superintendents Association, The Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology (ARCUE) (2011 – 2014) 
RESEARCHERS: Dr Steve Livesley, Dr Nick Williams, Dr Caragh Threlfall, Dr Amy Hahs, Prof. Nigel Stork, Alessandro Ossola, Jess Baumann, Jarvis Mihsill, Lee Wilson, Jess Mackie

1G3A2843OVERVIEW: The objective of this project is to improve the understanding of biodiversity values and carbon storage provided by urban green spaces, and in particular golf courses. In this project, the fauna biodiversity status of the 13 urban golf courses, adjacent residential areas and smaller urban parks in south-east Melbourne have been assessed, including measuring the diversity of birds, native bees, micro-bats and many other insect groups that use these green spaces. We have also measured above ground carbon storage, and soil carbon. Overall, the study will provide the golfing industry and other land managers with a detailed understanding of the biodiversity value of the urban green spaces they manage. It will also make recommendations for how to restore biodiversity habitat in the urban landscape, not only in large spaces like golf courses and urban parks, but also within residential suburbs.

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above:Scope TV recording Caragh and Jarvis for childrens Science program                                                    left:Caragh with bat sonic detector in tree behind her

ENGAGEMENT: A key part of this project has been engaging with both community residents and the golf course management community. Caragh has provided regular newsletters to both these groups on the objectives of the project and the preliminary findings, this has led to a high level of participant retention and discussion within the general public and industry. Below are links to various engagement publications and presentations:

IMG_3014IMG_2985Luis Mata (visiting PhD student from Barcelona) sweep net sampling for invertebrates in residential green space (left) and an urban golf course (right)