The development and conservation of Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne relies on a sound scientific understanding of this dynamic living environment. Immediate and future challenges for the Gardens include changes to water availability and climatic conditions. Our horticultural and environmental research is focused on these issues and how they impact on plant and landscape conservation within the Gardens.

Research undertaken includes studies to quantify plant water use and improve the water-holding capacity of soils so that we can reduce our water consumption while maintaining plant health. Our scientists are also engaged in researching rainfall patterns to determine how climate change may affect soil moisture; selecting plants for Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne that are best suited to current and projected local climates; and enhancing aquatic biodiversity in the lakes system to improve water quality and horticultural practice, and to better understand the problems associated with feeding the birds.