Supervisor(s): Brett Murphy, Patricia Werner (ANU)
Project suitable for: Honours
Northern Australian savannas are experiencing a rapid loss of biodiversity, and altered fire regimes may be to blame.
It has been suggested that highly flammable annual native grasses, especially Sorghum spp. (spear-grasses), have increased in abundance and fuelling high frequencies of intense fires. This hypothesised phenomenon is an example of a grass–fire cycle.
This project will evaluate this hypothesis, by re-visiting a number of sites in the lowland savannas of Kakadu National Park, that were previously surveyed in the late 1980s.
The dataset from the 1980s includes measurements of grass biomass and assessment of the dominant grass species, and similar measurements will be made now. This data will allow us to evaluate whether grass biomass and grass layer diversity have changed over 30 years, and in particular whether Sorghum has become more dominant.
Funding info: Funded. No top-up.
Closing date: Open
More information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Area of Research Strength: Savanna & Arid Ecology