Dynamics of litterfall and fine fuels after fire in sclerophyll forests and woodlands.
Litterfall is a dynamic process and subject to major seasonal variation. In eucalypt forests and woodlands, droughts may induce significant (e.g. +50%) increases in annual litterfall in any given year, contributing greatly to fire risks. Litter accumulation and thus its contribution to the fine fuel load, is dependent on the balance of litter inputs and losses via heterotrophic respiration (litter decomposition). Heterotrophic microorganisms are frequently limited by nutrients, especially in Australian soils. This project will be supervised by Dr Tina Bell with Dr Meaghan Jenkins and Professor Mark Adams from the University of Sydney
This project will use field sites in Low Elevation Mixed Species and High Elevation Mixed Species forests in Vic, NSW and the ACT. The seasonal dynamics of litterfall and heterotrophic respiration will be studied using controlled experimental approaches, with a view to developing new models of litter accumulation that better reflect environmental; conditions than current, outdated equilibrium’ models.
The roles of water and nutrient availability will be a primary focus, along with extensive studies of the relationship of litterfall to overstorey and understorey productivity.
The Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre and the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Sydney, are pleased to announce full ($28K) and top-up ($10K) scholarships for students interested in researching key issues for fire-fighting and land management agencies around Australia.
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The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 1113
Other opportunities with Professor Mark Adams
- Water use characteristics (tree hydraulics) of resprouting eucalypts in Low and High Elevation Mixed Species Forests, north-east Victoria, southern NSW and the ACT
- Charcoal production during prescribed fire and its role in carbon turnover
- Black Carbon in Soils
- Mesophyll conductance and water-use efficiency of grain crops
- Role of Fire in Shrub encroachment in Alpine NSW