Biodiversity refers to all of the species present in an area, and not just the obvious species. While we may be aware of birds, trees and the larger mammals, the ongoing functioning of ecosystems requires the interactions between all the participating species - large and microscopic, stationary and mobile, seen and unseen. Attempting to understand biodiversity requires an appreciation of the variety of life and the intricate ways they relate.
Biodiversity at Griffith University starts in our own backyard. At Nathan a large bushland subtropical eucalypt forest surrounds the campus and provides many opportunities for ecological investigations. Beyond the city, our research takes us to the rainforests, deserts, rivers and ocean, to the Great Barrier Reef, Antarctica and Borneo. Our ecologists study coral and fish, turtles and lizards, birds and mammals, plants and fungi, and especially insects, the most diverse group of all.
Biodiversity is not only found in the wild, however. Nature is present in all environments, including our cities and we are investigating how animals survive in the suburbs and how we can improve the diversity of species in urban landscapes.
We sometimes forget that humans are also part of biodiversity and that our potential impact far outweighs our numbers.
The GroNATIVE app allow people in South East Queensland to select the best native plants for their gardens, and restore native vegetation.
With images and information on more than 400 local native plans including the best growing conditions, flowering times, form, colour and biodiversity benefits, it will benefit our gardens, natural areas and the region as a whole.
Download it from iTunes and Google Play and get planting. https://app.secure.griffith.edu.au/gronative/showcase/
'Grows at Griffith' App
'Grows at Griffith' provides an interactive and easy-to-use flora database of 300 plants found on Griffith University campuses, and more broadly across South East Queensland.
What are we doing on campus
From its inception, Griffith University has maintained the environmental integrity of the campus at Nathan. The 225 hectares at Nathan and Mt Gravatt are home to species of rare flora and fauna, while the 60 hectare Gold Coast campus, although not as botanically significant, contains bushland areas with distinctive flora and fauna. The Logan campus features a native arboretum.
Nathan hosts the very rare Eucalyptus Baileyana and Eucalyptus Planchoniana and some Eucalyptus Baileyana also inhabit the Mt Gravatt Campus. Other rare plants include the Xanthorrhoea (Grass Tree) which is profuse on both campuses.A 'Grows at Griffith' strategy that focuses on species endemic to the local region continues to be rolled out on all campuses. This includes a rare and threatened plant walk on the Gold Coast campus and a native arboretum on the Logan campus.
View video: New Life for threatened plant species
What you can do
- Don’t feed or disturb native wildlife.
- Place rubbish in appropriate bins and don't litter
- Minimise what you put down the drain. Things like oils and chemicals may start at the sink but can end up in our waterways and seas.
- Join a volunteer group