Kakadu floodplains research synthesis

The expansive and Ramsar-listed floodplains of Kakadu National Park play a crucial role in supporting biodiversity within the park, which in turn supports resource use by Traditional Owners, commercial fisheries and tourism. To understand the ecological relationships that underpin these floodplain systems and the threats they face, a large body of research has been conducted over the past 15 years under the National Environmental Science Program and its predecessors the National Environmental Research Program and the Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge consortium. There is a recognised need to ensure these research findings and their management implications are easily accessible to stakeholders.

This project will synthesise information on floodplain inundation, weed mapping and management, fish biodiversity and movement, and accessible Indigenous values work, and produce a management-friendly product that communicates the key findings. The nature of this product will be determined in collaboration with research users. It will provide a synthesis of the findings, outcomes and conclusions and – importantly – the management implications of the research. The project will also include targeted presentations and meetings to communicate the findings of the synthesis project to a range of research users within the park and to help integrate the product into management plans and strategies.

This project will:

  • synthesise a range of existing research on the ecosystem dynamics of Kakadu’s floodplains
  • produce a management-oriented output that integrates key research findings in easily accessible ways
  • assist Traditional Owners, Kakadu managers, other land managers and decision-makers to access and understand research findings, informing management plans and raising awareness.

Project activities

  • taking stock of the research findings and datasets available to synthesise
  • consulting with Traditional Owners, researchers and research users to further establish existing knowledge as well as agree on the nature of the synthesis output
  • developing conceptual models of floodplain ecosystem processes through consultation with Traditional Owners and other key stakeholders
  • delivering synthesised research findings back to key stakeholders through workshops and presentations.

Anticipated outputs

This project will develop a management-oriented product that synthesises and explores research findings. This product will be available online, and will include

  • sets of maps
  • conceptual models of floodplain ecosystem processes
  • a technical report.

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This project is being led by Dr Ben Stewart-Koster and Professor Stuart Bunn from Griffith University. They will be assisted by researchers and staff from The University of Western Australia, Griffith University, Charles Darwin University, La Trobe University, CSIRO and Macquarie University.

Contact: [email protected]

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