Panorama of the National Arboretum

The Borevitz Lab, in collaboration with Cris BrackAlbert vanDijk and Michael Roderick has been awarded an ANU Major Equipment Grant to develop a Phenomic and Environmental Sensor Array (PESA) at the National Arboretum in Canberra. The PESA will collect and integrate data from 1) a core network of five meteorological stations, 2) a multi-billion pixel triangulated time lapse camera system to cover the research site at 1cm/pixel resolution, 3) a wireless mesh-based microclimate environmental sensor network of 30 spatially resolved nodes that each provide air temperature, humidity, light intensity, soil temperature and moisture at two depths, and 4) a real time tree diameter sensor network with 20 nodes for diurnal variation and seasonal growth. PESA will provide visual and physical resolution from individual trees to whole forests (m2 to 10’s of ha) every minute and hour for decades. Finally, data visualization software will provide a virtual user interface for advanced integrative research linking forest tree genotype, environment and phenotype. PESA provides a critical landscape level field trial data to complement ongoing studies ranging in scale from the greenhouse to space-borne sensors (e.g. Landsat) and regional Flux tower sites.

Initial placement of PESA will be at the ANU Research Forest of the National Arboretum of Canberra, but the proposed Array design has flexible components to allow sub-sets to be relocated to other sites for comparative analyses and integration over wider geographic scales.  The Array will capture how extreme weather and climate variability affects tree growth in experimental plots as they mature from individual trees to closed forest ecosystems. It will allow us to predict drought effects on growth and development for different eucalyptus species and genotypes which has important implications for regenerating forest ecosystems under climate change nationally and globally.

Main Project Page HERE

Read the full proposal here

See some panoramas of the National Arboretum:

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