What is a tropical savanna?
Savannas are grasslands with scattered trees. They are the dominant ecosystems of Australia's tropics, covering about one quarter of the continent. They provide natural resources that contribute $7.5 billion each year to the national economy. The main income earners are mining and tourism but pastoralism is the most extensive land-use. Aboriginal owners and the Australian Defence Force are also major resident stakeholders.
Five key research areas:
CSIRO research in tropical savannas
CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems' research in Darwin aims to predict how savanna ecosystems vary in relation to rainfall and soils, and how they respond to land management, especially fire, but also grazing, mining, tree clearing and habitat fragmentation. We are particularly interested in defining ecological health (incorporating both production and conservation values) at the landscape scale, and in developing appropriate assessment and monitoring methodologies. We are core participants in the Tropical Savannas CRC, with most of our work being done in collaboration with other government agencies and research institutions.
The Tropical Savannas program communication objectives are: