Landscape ecology

The Centre's first-round projects on landscape ecology helped to clarify how the landscapes of the tropical savannas functioned.

  • Landscape Health Indicators. This project has shown how to detect landscape change and condition by integrating ground-based indicators with remote sensing technology.
  • Modelling Landscape Change. It is now possible to use computers to simulate the interaction of elements like fire and grazing, soil and plant properties and rainfall so that the resulting impact on landscapes can be predicted. These computer models can then be linked to economic and social factors.
  • Savanna Form and Function. This project determined the responses of key ecosystem features such as vegetation characteristics to variation in moisture, soil texture and disturbance. The framework used was a continental-scale transect through the savannas of north-western Australia: the North Australian Tropical Transect (NATT).
  • Tropical Woodlands. This project was inspired by the widespread perception that uncleared woodlands are 'thickening up' in tropical Australia. It developed techniques for using aerial photography to investigate this claim.
  • Vegetation Map. This project produced the first seamless 1:1million and 1:2million scale map of vegetation across the tropical savannas.

Click on the project descriptions at left to find out more.