Three projects focus on landscape
ecology—the business of how savanna landscapes function.
These projects are all part of the Landscape Ecology and Health
- Predicting Outcomes of Management Figuring out the
longer term impact that different management practices, like
burning and grazing will have on the savannas is tricky at the best
of times - particularly given the variable climate. This project
follows on from the work done in the previous Tropical Savannas CRC
on using computer simulations to help people make these
predictions. 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 Carbon Dynamics How much carbon is stored by the
savannas and how is this amount likely to change in the future?
This question has become increasingly important in recent years
with the prospect of climate change due to the enhanced greenhouse
effect and the potential for trading carbon credits. This ambitious
project aims to estimate the amount of carbon stored by the
tropical savannas - and how it is cycled and changed by factors
like fire, grazing and climate change. The project involves a
number of institutions including the Tropical Savannas CRC.
- Soil Biota, Nutrients and Water in the Savannas At first
glance you might judge the health of a landscape by the plant cover
it has - but those plants in turn depend on a more basic factor:
how effectively water and nutrients are being cycled through the
soil. This cycling is likely be critically dependent on small soil
organisms like termites and other invertebrates. Yet we know
relatively little about these nutrient cycles and how they are
affected by fire and grazing - or about the role soil organisms
(biota) play in water and nutrient cycling. This projects aims to
investigate these processes in a practical grazing management
Click on the project descriptions at left
to find out more.