The Eungella Biodiversity Study: Filling the Knowledge Gap

Ashton, L. A., Leach, E. C., Odell, E. H., McDonald, W. J. F., Arvidsson, D., Kitching, R. L. (2020)


The rainforest of the Eungella massif has long been recognised as biologically unique: a centre of local endemism and an overlap zone with biota from both the tropical rainforests of north Queensland and sub-tropical elements from further south. We set out to study the rainforest biodiversity of Eungella National Park, and to collect data which would allow us to make predictions on how the fauna and flora of this area may respond to future climate change. Along an elevational gradient, a number of abiotic factors shift, including temperature, humidity and soil chemical properties. The Eungella Biodiversity Project was predicated on the use of an elevational gradient to understand how biological communities shift currently with climate, across elevation, in order to predict how this rainforest will respond to future climate change. We established permanent study plots along this elevational gradient and collected data on a range of groups including plants, moths, dragonflies, ants, snails and birds. Here, we give some background on the project and describe the botanic and environmental characteristics of the Eungella National Park elevational gradient