Charles Darwin University
enews home

Grant to boost NT carbon and land use research

By Katie Weiss

Flux towers are monitoring carbon and water fluxes across the NT Flux towers are monitoring carbon and water fluxes across the NT

A team led by Charles Darwin University researchers will use a Commonwealth Government grant to help better understand the savanna carbon cycle and impacts of land use change in the Northern Territory.

Lead investigator, CDU Environmental Science Professor Lindsay Hutley welcomed the recently awarded Australian Research Council grant of almost $400,000.

Professor Hutley said an improved understanding about savanna carbon and water cycles would help manage ecosystem transformations following events such as land use change or weed invasion.

“We hope that more accurate information about the carbon and water cycles of savanna ecosystems will ultimately help guide improved land management,” he said.

Professor Hutley said the research would complement previous work funded in key areas of the Top End along with existing monitoring systems in the region, known as “flux towers”. Flux towers consist of monitoring sensors mounted on guyed towers that measure the rate, or “fluxes”, of carbon and water coming into and out of savanna ecosystems.

Professor Hutley said two flux towers built at NT catchment sites in the Howard and Daly rivers would be used during the project.

The research team includes CDU’s Associate Professor Samantha Setterfield, Professor Michael Bird from James Cook University and Dr Jonathan Wynn from the University of South Florida. It will complement other research being planned under the Northern Environmental Research Programme.