Murrumbidgee River with lucerne and wheat crops.
Functional Ecology and Systematics
The Functional Ecology and Systematics Program is helping to manage the increasing threat from invasive species and the benefits to agriculture from ecosystem services while ensuring the preservation and sustainable use of Australian ecosystems more generally.
24 August 2010 | Updated 14 October 2011
Our research focuses on branches of applied ecology which underpin an understanding of the impacts of beneficial and invasive organisms (plants, animals, microbes) within a broad variety of agricultural and native ecosystems.
We are involved in research on:
- developing landscape scale ecological management systems for invasive species, insect pests developing resistance to toxins in transgenic crops, and beneficial invertebrates and microbes providing various ecosystem services (e.g. biocontrol, pollination, nutrient cycling) in agricultural and native ecosystems
- analysing ecological and economic risks to plant biosecurity posed by invasive organisms at species, landscape and industry scales
- developing innovative approaches to modelling the distribution of biodiversity at multiple scales so we can predict and manage the impacts of global change.
We are also characterising the identity and relationships of the Australian fauna and seeking to interpret its evolutionary origins using systematics, taxonomy and molecular biology. We are developing novel approaches to deliver the knowledge required for biodiversity conservation.
Our research includes:
- documenting the Australian terrestrial fauna
- establishing evolutionary relationships and predictive classifications
- delivering biodiversity information for conservation, planning and management
- providing world class management of the Australian National Insect Collection and the Australian National Wildlife Collection.
The Functional Ecology and Systematics Program is involved in a range of research activities and projects. Some examples are:
Read more about CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences.