The Skyrail Rainforest Foundation is funding a James Cook University project, which is investigating any correlation between climate change and the flowering and fruiting patterns of rainforest plants.
The project aims are to decipher whether fruiting and flowering activity corresponds with seasonal variation in climate at the community level in the lowland rainforest, and determine if plants of varying sexual systems demonstrate different sensitivity to climatic functions.
The research is being conducted in the Barron Gorge National Park, along the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway transect. Researchers are utilising the Skyrail cableway to monitor and record over 7km of rainforest canopy. Photographic records will be collected over a 10-year period and collated with the flowering and fruiting patterns already recorded by Skyrail?s Environment Department since 1995, making this one of Australia?s longest running phenology studies.
Foundation funding has been used to assist with the set-up costs for this project, including the purchase of necessary technical equipment such as a digital camera, tripod and accessories crucial to collecting the best quality data.
Funding for the operational expenses of this project has been provided by the MTRSF.