The project is part of a collaborative effort of Monash University, La Trobe University, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, and Australian Research Council to study the effect on carbon and water fluxes as a result of conversion of agricultural landscapes to plantations.
Productive ephemeral catchments are more prone to environmental degradation and play an important role in the economy of Australia. However, few managed ecosystems are currently being monitored in Australia to understand the impact of managed landscapes on carbon fluxes. The main aim of this research is to investigate soil carbon efflux through field experiments and numerical analyses of productive ephemeral catchments with contrasting land use. The study sites are two adjacent catchments in Southwestern Victoria; one catchment is mainly a livestock-grazed pasture and the other is a blue gum plantation. Based on the soil respiration chamber (SRC) and eddy-covariance (EC) measurements, the catchments were water-limited resulting into carbon efflux mainly controlled by soil water content.