Wombat Flux Research Site

Introduction
The Wombat Flux research site was established in January 2010. The site is located within the Wombat State Forest, between Ballarat and Daylesford in Central Victoria, 100 km west of Melbourne. It is managed by The University of Melbourne in collaboration with Monash University and the Department of Environment and Primary Industries of Victoria.
Wombat Flux is part of Australia’s OzFlux network of flux towers.

Online Data
Online data can be accessed through the following webpage:
http://www.see.uwa.edu.au/research/land/wombat

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View from the top of the Wombat Flux tower

Purpose
The Wombat Forest research site facilitates the investigation of complex ecosystem processes of the carbon, water and nutrient cycle in a dry-sclerophyll forest ecosystem that is typical for many forests in Australia. This research will help to assess the impact of future environmental change on forest ecosystems in Australia. The Wombat Forest research site will:

  • Quantify the carbon sink/source strength of a dry sclerophyll forest and identify the contribution of such forests to Australia’s National Carbon Inventory.
  • Quantify the emission and/or uptake of non-CO2 greenhouse gases, such as nitrous oxide and methane of the forest.
  • Assess the role of climate variability and drought on ecosystem processes.
  • Assess the impact of disturbances (such as fire) on ecosystem processes.
  • Provide a database of microclimate and ecological parameters for use in carbon and water modelling projects.

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Carbon dioxide sensor and anemometer at 30 m on the Wombat Flux tower

Site Description
The Wombat Forest research site is located in the Wombat State Forest, Victoria, South Eastern Australia at an elevation of 713 m. The site is a secondary re-growth forest that was last harvested in 1980. Dominant tree species are Eucalyptus obliqua (messmate stringybark), Eucalyptus radiata (narrow leaf peppermint) and Eucalyptus rubida (candlebark) with an average canopy height of 25m. The understorey consists mainly of patchy grasses and the soil is a silty-clay overlying clay. The forest is managed by the Department of Environment and Primary Industries and management includes selective harvesting and prescribed burning regimes.
The climate of the study area is classified as cool-temperate to Mediterranean zone with cold and wet winters (May-Aug) and warm and dry summers (Dec-Feb). Mean annual rainfall in the region in the last 20 years was between 600-700 mm.

Julio_LoRes_12358_033820130205_112015
The Wombat Flux tower is a 35 m tall mast with instruments located at 30m. 

Site summary:
Site name: Wombat Flux
Landcover: Dry sclerophyll eucalypt forest
Rainfall: 650 mm
Temp range: 1-30 °C
Location: Wombat State Forest, Victoria, 37º 25’ 20″ S, 144º 05’ 40″ E
Group: University of Melbourne & Monash University
Status: running since Jan 2010
Contact: Stefan Arndt 

Measurements
The main flux tower site includes the following instrumentation that is located in a secured and locked compound:

  • 35 m tall eddy-covariance flux tower;
  • trailer-mounted mobile laboratory – Fourier transform infra-red (FTIR) spectrometer, including automated sampling chambers;
  • remote area power system (diesel generator and 12V battery bank)

The EC flux tower at the main flux tower site continuously measures the exchange of CO2, water vapour and energy between the atmosphere and the forest through equipment mounted on the tower. This main tower site also includes a full weather station.

The FTIR in the trailer-mounted mobile laboratory continuously measures the flux of greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4 and N2O) between the soil and atmosphere that are collected during the closure of automated chambers.

20130206_135156Wombat flux chamber
Mobile laboratory and automated soil greenhouse gas measurement chambers at Wombat Flux.

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