Several papers were published recently (2016) that may be of interest to FINIA readers including a review of coastal dunefield evolution in SEQ, Ground Penetrating Radar observations in the Great Sandy National Park (including Moon Point),patterns of phylogenetic diversity in subtropical rainforests, and the diet and body condition of Fraser Island dingoes. Details and links are provided below.
A review of coastal dune field evolution in southeastern Queensland
Graziela Miot de Silva and James Shulmeister
This paper summarises existing research on dunefield progression on the southern coast of Queensland. The aim is to identify the possible controlling factors in the dunefields’ evolution. Gaining an understanding of dunefield progression in southern Queensland, and the relative contributions of sea level change and climate to phases of activity, is made especially interesting by the length of this system’s records of Quaternary dunefield evolution. At the same time, however, the chronological sequence of these phases is largely unknown. This study pieces together what is known and assumed about the progression of these phases and the triggers that may have initiated them, as an important step towards more thoroughly understanding this system and what it has to say about the relative thresholds of sea level change and climate in dunefield progression and what might cause one factor or the other to dominate in dune emplacement phases.
This paper can be downloaded in PDF format, from: MiotdaSilvaShulmeister
Ground penetrating radar observations of present and former coastal environments, Great Sandy National Park, Queensland, Australia – Focus on Moon Point, Fraser Island
Allen M. Gontz, Adrian B. McCallum, Patrick T. Moss, and James Shulmeister
This paper reports on a subset of data collected from a larger study to investigate past shoreline complexes of Fraser Island and the northern end of the Cooloola Sand Mass. In this paper, the focus of discussion is information gathered from 10 reconnaissance-level ground penetrating radar lines in the Moon Point area of Fraser Island during July 2014. Using the radar data, the authors characterise the site and its units, discuss some aspects of its likely development, and draw initial conclusions about its age. Building on this important first step in understanding the dynamics and evolution of this system, future work will focus on developing chronologies associated with the GPR stratigraphy, extract climate proxies from preserved coastal systems and reconstruct the paleogeography.
This paper can be downloaded in PDF format, from: Gontzetal-2016-jcr
A third study of interest, led by USC student Marion Howard, was recently published in PLOSOne.
Patterns of phylogenetic diversity of subtropical rainforest of the Great Sandy Region, Australia indicate long term climatic refugia
Marion G. Howard, William J. F. McDonald, Paul I. Forster, W. John Kress, David Erickson, Daniel P. Faith, Alison Shapcott
This study tests the patterns of rainforest diversity and relatedness in the Great Sandy Region at a fine scale to investigate why this region exhibits greater phylogenetic evenness compared with rainforests on white sands in other parts of the world. From the findings, Fraser Island and Cooloola show evidence of having been rainforest refugia, and the Great Sandy Region’s significance for the conservation of phylogenetic variability is emphasised.
This paper can be downloaded in PDF format, from: PlosoneHowardetal 2016
Finally, Linda Behrendorff (QPWS) and colleagues have a new paper out through Nature.
Insects for breakfast and whales for dinner: the diet and body condition of dingoes on Fraser Island (K’gari)
Linda Behrendorff, Luke K.-P. Leung, Allan McKinnon, Jon Hanger, Grant Belonje, Jenna Tapply, Darryl Jones & Benjamin L. Allen
This paper represents the first published study characterising the diet of the Fraser Island (K’gari) dingo population, and discusses the body condition and health of this population relative to other dingo populations. According to the results, the K’gari dingo population is capable of exploiting a wide variety of food sources, from insects to whales. Thus, far from supporting the anecdotal contention that the K’gari dingos are ‘starving’ or in ‘poor condition’, these findings reveal the K’gari dingo population to be in good to excellent physical condition and health.
This paper can be viewed online, at: http://www.nature.com/articles/srep23469
[…] Dingoes are a highly evolved apex predator on K’gari, meaning like the sea eagles and sharks, they prey on other animals. Survival on an island means you need to adapt, so K’gari’s dingoes are omnivores relying on a mixture of foods including marsupials, rodents, reptiles, berries and other flora, and the remains of stranded marine animals washed up on the beach. Medium-sized mammals (such as bandicoots) and fish were the most common food items detected in dingo scat records. […]