Final research chapter
Researchers from across Australia gathered at Horsham Golf Club to discuss the findings from the Australian Grains Free Air CO2 Enrichment, AGFACE, project and to celebrate its conclusion after 12 years.
The AGFACE project was an investigation into how plants will respond to higher carbon dioxide levels, and a changing climate, predicted in the future.
Guests at Thursday’s forum included Professor Tim Reeves and Professor Snow Barlow from the University of Melbourne and Stephen Loss and Craig Ruchs from the Grains Research and Development Corporation.
AGFACE research in Horsham was a joint collaboration between Agriculture Victoria Research and The University of Melbourne.
The project produced almost 100 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, 15 Masters and PHD theses, 120 conference presentations and dozens of media releases, field days and industry publications.
Collaborations included: Harvard University, US; NASA/USDA-ARS; Rothamsted Reseach, England; University of Illinois, US; University of Freiburg, Germany; University of Birmingham, England; Other FACE programs in Japan, China, New Zealand, the US, and Germany; Spanish National Research Council, University of Idaho; Universidad Politécnica de Madrid; CSIRO, Monash University, La Trobe University and University of Southern Queensland.
One of the project’s peer-reviewed papers appeared in Nature, one of the highest-ranked scientific journals in the world.
AGFACE at Horsham was the only FACE facility in a semi-arid zone, allowing researchers to test the effect of elevated CO2 on crops in drought conditions.
The main question the project sought to answer was: How can Australian agriculture maximise the positives and reduce the negatives of elevated carbon dioxide on crop production in a changing climate?