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September 2022 Meeting Rewilding Minibeasts for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function

Peter Contos, Phd student and OFF research grant recipient, will tell us about his work with restoring farmland with communities of invertebates and micobes (minibeasts).

Peter Contos, a PhD student at La Trobe University in Melbourne, is currently exploring how we can rewild whole communities of invertebrates and microbes  (minibeasts) during farmland restoration to improve biodiversity, function, and ecosystem recovery. Peter, a recipient of an OFF research grant, will discuss a current project aiming to right this bias by testing the efficacy of rewilding whole communities of leaf litter containing minibeasts from species rich remnant sites during farmland restoration. As diverse litter communities are crucial for efficient decomposition, it is expected to see increases in the efficiency of leaf litter breakdown with increases in species diversity. Rewilding litter with minibeasts has never been attempted before and there is hope that the results will highlight the benefit of improving minibeast diversity on farms and will give practitioners an additional tool to fight species declines

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