James Cook University
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Flux measurements from the Cow Bay site, Far North Queensland.The Cow Bay flux station was located in the Daintree forest at the Daintree Discovery Centre, Cow Bay, 100km north of Cairns in Far North Queensland. It was established in December 2008 and managed by James Cook University.The forest is classified as complex mesophyll vine forest, there are 94 species in the core 1Ha, and average tree height is 22m. Elevation of the site is 90m and mean annual precipitation is 3935mm. The Daintree Rainforest is one of the most biodiverse forests in Australia.The instruments are mounted on a walk-up tourist tower at 35m. Fluxes of heat, water vapour and carbon dioxide are measured using the open-path eddy flux technique. Supplementary measurements above the canopy include temperature, humidity, windspeed, wind direction, rainfall, incoming and reflected shortwave radiation and net radiation.The early years 2009 - 12 had several data gaps. Shadowing of the radiometric equipment continues to cause artifacts on the radiometers - these can be seen as reduction in downwelling radiation with solar inclination. We are currently working on a hardware solution.The site is part of the FNQ Rainforest SuperSite : associated with the Daintree node, which is part of the TERN Australian SuperSite Network (ASN). The site was co-funded by the Daintree Discovery Centre and the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network. Past support was from the Department of Environment and Heritage - Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility Project 5ii.2. Climate Change: Scaling from trees to ecosystems.
The Cape Tribulation flux station is located in lowland tropical rainforest at the Daintree Rainforest Observatory located near Cape Tribulation, Queensland. The land is adjacent to the Daintree National Park which is part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area (WTWHA).The site is flanked to the west by coastal ranges rising to more than 1400m and to the east by the Coral Sea. The red clay loam podzolic soils are of metamorphic origin and have good drainage characteristics. The metamorphic rocks grade into granite boulders along Thompson Creek which runs along the northern boundary of the site. The crane site itself is gently sloping but the fetch area makes the site one of very complex terrain.The forest is classed as complex mesophyll vine forest (type 1a) and has an average canopy height of 25m. The dominant canopy trees belong to the Apocynaceae, Arecaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Lauraceae, Meliaceae, Myristicaceae and Myrtaceae families. The forest is continuous for several kilometres around the crane except for an area 300m due east of the crane, which is regrowth forest.Annual average rainfall at the site is around 5180mm and is strongly seasonal, with 66% falling between January and April (wet season). Mean daily temperature ranges from 26.6°C in February to 21.2°C in July.Tropical Cyclone impactsTropical cyclones are a frequent occurrence in Far North Queensland. These severe tropical storm systems are natural phenomena which play a major role in determining the ecology of Queensland's tropical lowland rainforests. In March 1999 Tropical Cyclone Rona (Category 3) passed over the Cape Tribulation area causing widespread damage (gusts >170km/h). At the site several large trees fell, nearly all of the remaining trees were stripped of leaves and the lianas towers were torn to ground level.Australian Canopy CraneThe flux station is mounted at the 45m level on the tower of the crane.The canopy crane is a Liebherr 91 EC, freestanding construction tower crane. The crane is 48.5 metres tall with a radius of 55 metres enabling access to 1 hectare of rainforest.Fluxes of heat, water vapour and carbon dioxide are measured using the open-path eddy covariance technique. Supplementary measurements above the canopy include temperature, humidity, rainfall, total solar, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) and net radiation.Heat flux, soil temperature and water content (time domain reflectometry) are measured in proximity to the flux station. Detailed biometric measurements are made at the crane site and all trees have regular (5 yearly) dbh measurements and canopy mapping carried. Monitoring bores (3) are located on site. Leaf litter measurements are carried out on a monthly basis.The Cape Tribulation flux station was established in March 2001 and is managed by James Cook University.
The Robson Creek flux station is located at the foothills of the Lamb Range in the Danbulla National Park, part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage forest estate. The site was established in 2013 and is managed by James Cook University.The tower is located to the NW of a 25Ha census plot established by CSIRO in 2012. The forest is classified as Regional Ecosystem (RE) 7.3.36a, complex mesophyll vine forest (Queensland Government 2006). There are 211 species in the 25 Ha plot, and average tree height is 28m, ranging from 23 to 44 m. Elevation of the site is 711m and mean annual precipitation is 2000mm. The upland rainforests of the Atherton Tablelands are some of the most biodiverse and carbon dense forests in Australia.The landform of the 25Ha plot which is in the dominant wind direction from the tower is moderately inclined with a low relief, a 30 m high ridge running north/south through the middle of the plot and a 40 m high ridge running north/south on the eastern edge of the plot.The instruments are mounted on a free standing tower at 40m. Fluxes of heat, water vapour and carbon dioxide are measured using the open-path eddy flux technique. Supplementary measurements above the canopy include temperature, humidity, windspeed, wind direction, rainfall, incoming and reflected shortwave radiation and net radiation.The Robson Creek site is part of the FNQ Rainforest SuperSite : the Robson Creek node, which is part of the TERN Australian SuperSite Network (ASN).