Karawatha SuperSite (Inactive)

From 2018 the SEQ Peri-urban SuperSite - Karawatha node becomes an Inactive SuperSite.

Between January and September of 2007 a Program for Planned Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research (PPBio) grid was established as a long-term ecological research site (LTER) in Eucalypt forest at Karawatha Forest Park in Brisbane, Queensland Australia. The grid was arbitrarily placed to cover the reserve and includes approximately 33 km of fixed transects and 33 fixed plots.

Karawatha Forest is on the southern peri-urban edge of Brisbane and is managed by the Brisbane City Council. It contains a variety of habitats from freshwater lagoons and sandstone ridges, to dry eucalypt forests and wet heath.

Thirty three LTER plots (1ha each) have been established.

All 33 plots have been surveyed and data uploaded for:

  • Vegetation (>1cm DBH) Composition and Abundance
  • Biomass & Carbon Estimation
  • Soil
  • Topography
  • Birds
  • Frogs
  • Lizards
  • Small Mammals
  • Tree Hollows
  • Koala Scats
Site Details
Site Location Karawatha Forest, Brisbane, South East Queensland.
Site Area 900 hectares
Site Elevation 80 - 100m above sea level
Annual Rainfalli 1,129.90mm mean annual rainfall (Logan city: 1992 - 2006, 15years)
Average Rainfall - Wettest Quarter 134.2mm
Average Rainfall - Driest Quarter 36.1mm
Average Minimum Temperature 8.6 oC in winter and 20.3 oC in summer
Average Maximum Temperature 21.4 oC in winter and 29.8 oC in summer

Photosphere view of Karawatha forest (photo P. Scarth)


  • Vehicle access is provided on several sides of the forest.
  • Toilet blocks,
  • walking tracks,
  • Laboratory facilities available nearby at Griffith University campuses.

Research and Data Management

PPBio provides a web site www.griffith.edu.au/ppbio to act as a hub for the storage and dissemination of data.

Photosphere of TERN AusCover terrestrial laser scanning campaign in Karawatha forest (photo P. Scarth)

The Logan and Albert river estuary

The Logan and Albert river estuary sub-location (managed by CSIRO) lies to the south of Brisbane.

Monitoring within the Albert-Logan catchment focuses on aquatic biogeochemistry and biodiversity in a woodland and cropping environment on the cusp of residential development including the inception of the Wyaralong Dam. High-frequency biogeochemical and ecological studies are under way to help scientists understand why these rivers contribute such high loads of nitrogen and sediment into Moreton Bay. Permanent measurement stations have been established in both rivers to provide continuous water quality and flow data. The stations consist of physico-chemical sensors to measure temperature, pH (degree of acidity or alkalinity), Eh (the redox, or reduction-oxidation, character of the water), conductivity, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, chlorophyll, blue green algae, CDOM and nitrate. There is also a velocity Doppler to measure river flow and height. These measurements will help researchers to quantify land-use change.

Map showing existing and proposed infrastructure for the Logan transects. Background image from Google.

SuperSite instrumentation

Velocity and discharge (Argonaut SL500)

Physical Chemical instrumentation
  • Turbidity (Analite NEP 9000)
  • Greenspan Pressure transducer
  • Salinity (Falmouth CTD Bio)
  • YSI Sonde (pH, EC, Temp, DO, Chlorophyll, Phycocyanin)
  • Optical package Wetlabs ACS, BB9, WQM, CDOM
  • ISUS Nitrate sensor
  • PCO2 and CH4 Licor and Picarro

Water quality data can be accessed from the TERN Australian Coastal Ecosystems Facility, Coastal Data Portal.