Development of new methodologies of measurement of ecological structure and function
The Centre is a major focus for international efforts to develop and improve the methods used to investigate ecological patterns and processes. Current research efforts are focussed on methods for understanding spatial scales of variation in abundances of single species and of complex sets of species. Without this research, it is impossible to predict the consequences of human changes to coastal habitats, nor is it possible to make coherent plans for marine reserves.
The Centre is also very active in experimental analyses of biodiversity in different habitats and, particularly, how to measure changes through time and differences in space in the complex, interacting assemblages of species that make up coastal biodiversity. Other research projects are testing hypotheses from models about the processes linking ecological functions in a habitat and the local variations in diversity of the animals that bring about these functions. Without this research, conservation of biodiversity, restoration of habitats and understanding and managing impacts are impossible goals for Australian coastal communities.