NGIA to partner with University of Melbourne on new Urban Forest research

P9050175A grant submitted by The University of Melbourne titled ‘Plant traits, substrates and stormwater grates: improving the health of urban trees by using polluted stormwater as a resource’ has been successful in the recent round of funding announcements under the highly prestigious Australian Research Council (ARC) linkage program.

Dr Stephen Livesley, from The Melbourne University leads the ARC Linkage project with Professor Tim Fletcher and Associate Professor Stefan Arndt also from The University of Melbourne. NGIA is a key Partner Organisation and joins Melbourne Water Corporation and City West Water as additional Partner Organisations making this project truly collaborative.

The proposed research uses plant traits to select existing and novel tree species for glasshouse studies to quantify the uptake of stormwater and polluting nutrients as well as drought tolerance in stormwater street tree systems. In collaboration with water industry and tree nursery industry partners and a syndicate of local councils, the project aims to install passive stormwater street tree systems into existing suburbs and new greenfield developments in Melbourne.

Models will be used to design and predict the performance of these stormwater street tree systems, and the glasshouse/field research outputs are expected to refine the leading industry and government relevant urban catchment model.

The research proposed in the ARC Linkage proposal is aligned with the Nursery & Garden Industry Strategic Plan 2010-2015 to invest in research and technology development across high priority areas which include positioning the industry as a leader in establishing climate change solutions through the use of green stock. This project will provide vital information that will be used by production nurseries to assist them identify appropriate species and market opportunities. Data from this proposal will also be incorporated into key messages as part of the industry 202020 Vision campaign.

Further updates on this project will be announced via the Your Levy at Work Blog.