Tropical Savannas CRC > Networking > Savanna Futures Forum '08 > Session 1: Landscape ecology and health

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Session 1: Overview / Landscape ecology and health

Chair: David Garnett

Achieving a sustainable future for Australia’s savannas: lessons from a decade of cooperative research. John Ludwig et al

This paper is an overview of some key lessons learned over the last 12 or more years about how to effectively foster cooperation and integration to achieve practices leading towards the sustainable management of savanna landscapes in northern Australia. These lessons are based on the combined experiences of TS-CRC Chief Executive Officers (Duff, Garnett), a Communication Coordinator (Jacklyn) and Research Theme Leaders (Landsberg, Ludwig, Morrison, Novelly, Whitehead).

Documents

Cooperative Lessons pdf Slideshow
Slideshow of talk delivered by John Ludwig to the Savanna Futures Forum, February 28th 2008, Darwin [pdf 3.2 Mb]


Cooperative Lessons Summary
Summary of talk delivered by John Ludwig at the Savanna Futures Forum, February 28th, Darwin [pdf 251.9 kb]


Savanna carbon dynamics:  Dick Williams et al

Savannas constitute approximately 30% of Australia’s carbon stocks, and make a substantial contribution to national Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. GHG emissions from Australian rangelands derive from three main sources: land-use change, livestock production and savanna burning. Understanding the stocks, flows, responses of savannas to elevated CO2, savanna sequestration capacity and the markets for savanna carbon have been the foci of this project.

Documents

Savanna carbon Slideshow
PDF of talk delivered by Dick Williams to Savanna Futures Forum, February 28th 2008, Darwin [pdf 2.0 Mb]


Savanna Carbon Summary
Summary of talk delivered by Dick Williams at the Savanna Futures Forum, February 28th, Darwin [pdf 15.2 kb]


Closing the gate after the grass has bolted: research to improve future weed management and policy: Michael Douglas and Sam Setterfield

There are approximately 160 species of naturalised grasses in northern Australia. Several species have been identified as serious weeds and are emerging as a significant threat to tropical savannas for conservation, Aboriginal, pastoral, mining, and defence land users. Although concerns about the environmental impacts of exotic grasses have been raised since the early 1990’s, progress on this issue was hampered by an active campaign of denial and misinformation about their impacts and by a lack of published scientific information evaluating environmental effects. Research supported by the Savannas CRC addressed this knowledge gap and demonstrated that species such as Gamba grass and Mission grass can have major effects of savanna plants, animals and important ecosystem processes including nutrient and water cycling and fire regimes.

Documents

Grassy Weeds pdf Slideshow
Slideshow of talk delivered by Michael Douglas to the Savanna Futures Forum, February 28th 2008, Darwin [pdf 2.9 Mb]


Grassy Weeds Summary
Summary of talk delivered by Michael Douglas to Savanna Futures Forum, February 28th, Darwin [pdf 12.8 kb]


Drivers of landscape change: Aaron Petty

Tropical savannas extend across nearly one third of the Earth’s — and Australia’s — surface. Although the biome is principally defined by a climate condition — highly seasonal but regular rainfall patterns — the name “savanna” is also given to the dominant feature of tropical savannas: open woodlands characterised by the coexistence of grasses and trees.

Under classical successional theory this is a paradox: either conditions do not support trees, or trees eventually supplant grasses. There has been much debate over the factors that lead to grass-tree coexistence in savannas, but a consensus is forming that disturbance, particularly from grazing and fire, is the key structuring factor. Because tropical savannas are disturbance dependent systems, they can be particularly impacted by seemingly subtle changes in disturbance regime.

Documents

Landscape Change Slideshow
Slideshow of talk delivered by Aaron Petty to Savanna Futures Forum, February 28th, 2008, Darwin [pdf 4.1 Mb]


Landscape Change Summary
Summary of talk delivered by Aaron Petty to Savanna Futures Forum, February 28th, Darwin [pdf 15.1 kb]


Contacts

A/Prof Michael Douglas
Charles Darwin University
Tel: 08 8946 7261

Mobile: 0408 467 000
Fax: 08 8946 6847

Charles Darwin University
DARWIN, NT 0909


Dr John Ludwig
Theme Leader, TS-CRC
Tel: 07 4091 8837

Fax: 07 4091 8888

PO Box 780
ATHERTON, QLD 4883


Dr Samantha Setterfield
Lecturer, Environmental Management & Ecology
Charles Darwin University
Tel: 08 8946 6756

Fax: 08 8946 6847

Faculty of SITE, Bldg 42
DARWIN, NT 0909


Dr Dick Williams
Project Leader
CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems
Tel: 08 8944 8426

Fax: 08 8944 8444

PMB 44
WINNELLIE, NT 0831