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Weekly Update, 12 February 2017
Welcome to the weekly newsletter from the SA Natural Resource Management Research & Innovation Network. The Network is a partnership between NRM researchers and decision makers to improve communication and knowledge sharing, encourage collaboration, and to seek new opportunities for research programs. The Network partners include DEWNR, the SA NRM Boards, the University of Adelaide, the University of South Australia, Flinders University, PIRSA, SA Water and the Conservation Council of SA.


For all queries, feedback or to submit content for the newsletter or website, please contact:
Jennie Fluin
Principal Advisor Research Partnerships
Mobile 0434 950 885
This week's featured research
This week’s featured research article has just been published in PLOS One by DEWNR staff on the effects of red fox control on the abundance, diet and use of space by feral cats. The researchers investigated the potential effects of competition and intraguild predation between red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and feral cats (Felis catus) in south-eastern Australia where the apex predator, the dingo (Canis dingo), has been extirpated by humans. They predicted that the larger fox would dominate the cat in encounters, and used a fox-removal experiment to assess whether foxes affect cat abundance, diet, home-range and habitat use. The results provide little indication that intraguild predation occurred or that cats responded numerically to the fox removal, but suggest that the fox affects some aspects of cat resource use. In particular, where foxes were removed cats increased their consumption of invertebrates and carrion, decreased their home range size and foraged more in open habitats. Fox control takes place over large areas of Australia to protect threatened native species and agricultural interests. The results suggest that fox control programs could lead to changes in the way that cats interact with co-occurring prey, and that some prey may become more vulnerable to cat predation in open habitats after foxes have been removed. Moreover, with intensive and more sustained fox control it is possible that cats could respond numerically and alter their behaviour in different ways to those documented herein. The researchers conclude that novel approaches are urgently required to control invasive mesopredators at the same time, especially in areas where apex predators are absent. The paper can be downloaded here
Latest research news

This section presents a selection of recently published NRM research and science news relevant to Australian environments. There is a focus on open access articles as the majority of natural resource decision makers do not have access to paywalled literature.

1. Research article in Ecography (in press, open access) on relationships among ecological traits of wild bee communities along gradients of habitat amount and fragmentation
2.  Research article in Ecology and Society (in press, open access) on exploring social representations of adapting to climate change using topic modeling and Bayesian networks
3. Research article in Biological Conservation (in press, open access) on conservation social science - understanding and integrating human dimensions to improve conservation
4. Research article in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment (in press, open access) on clarifying the role of coastal and marine systems in climate mitigation
5. Research article in Ecology and Society (in press, open access) on what does resilience mean for urban water services
6. Research article in the Journal of Hydrology (in press, open access) on groundwater and unsaturated zone evaporation and transpiration in a semi-arid open woodland
7. Research article in Hydrology and Earth Systems Science (in press, open access) on land surface albedo and vegetation feedbacks enhancing the millennium drought in south-east Australia
8. Research article in Nature Scientific Reports (in press, open access) on how counteracting wetland overgrowth increases breeding and staging bird abundances
9. Research article in Ecography (in press, open access) on methods and models for identifying thresholds of habitat loss
10. Article in The Conversation on the erratic, slightly drunk relatives of El Nino and the impacts they may have on warming in Australia
11. Blog post by Arid Recovery on the importance of reporting on experimental failures
12. Research article in Nature Ecology and Evolution (in press, open access) on human exposure and sensitivity to globally extreme wildfire events
13. Research article in Royal Society Open Science (Feb 2017, open access) on why are we not evaluating multiple competing hypotheses in ecology and evolution
14. Research article in the Journal of Environmental Management (Feb 2017, open access) on public values for integration in natural disaster management and planning - a case study from Victoria, Australia
15. Research article in Science of the Total Environment (in press, open access) on a novel integrated modelling framework to assess the impacts of climate and socio-economic drivers on land use and water quality
16. Research article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (in press, open access) on interaction between top-down and bottom-up control in marine food webs
17. A Science for Environmental Policy (EU) review article that brings together the findings of over 100 other studies, found that 59% of reported impacts of climate change on ecosystem services are negative, while just 13% are positive       
18. The Office of Innovation Australia has just released a report on a performance review of Australia's innovation and science system, critiquing our knowledge creation, knowledge translation and knowledge transfer.
19. Research article in Futures (Feb 2017, open access) on what is wrong with evidence based policy and how can it be improved
20. Blog post by Prof Corey Bradshaw on dealing with rejection when publishing research              

Upcoming events

A more extensive list of seminars, workshops and conferences can be found on the RAIN website 

1. University of Adelaide Research Tuesdays – Connected to Country. Indigenous Australians have a remarkably deep cultural and spiritual connection to their country. Now, research at the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA is explaining the history behind this. The landmark Aboriginal Heritage Project between the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Museum is creating a ‘genetic map’ of Australia’s first 50,000 years, using DNA analysis of hair samples collected from Aboriginal Australians between the 1920s and 1960s, together with extensive cultural and genealogical data.
When: February 14 5.30pm
Where: Braggs Lecture Theatre, University of Adelaide
Details: register here


Funding opportunities

1. Australian Research Council Linkage Grant Program (ongoing): more information here
2. National Geographic Conservation Trust research grants (open all year): more information here
3. Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund (three rounds, end of Feb, end of June and end of October): more information here
4. Fisheries Research & Development Corporation (FDRC) (due 15 Feb 2017): more information here
5. AusIndustry: Citizen Science Grants 2017 (due 17 Feb 2017): more information here
6. UNESCO: Green Chemistry for Life Grant Programme 2017 (due 28 Feb 2017): more information here
7. Australian Flora Foundation: Research Grants for Funding in 2018 (due 15 March): more information here
8. Birdlife Australia: Stuart Leslie Bird Research Award 2017 (due 31 March 2017): more information here

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Network Partners

Our partners include the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, the South Australian NRM Boards, the University of Adelaide, the University of South Australia, Flinders University, PIRSA and SA Water.
Copyright © 2017 South Australian Department for Environment and Water, All rights reserved.