Trees and Grazing Production: Linking Scattered Trees with Production Outcomes
Contact Phoebe Barnes
There is growing evidence in the scientific literature that scattered trees are potentially a valuable natural resource for both environmental and production attributes. However due to their perceived lack of contribution to production by primary producers, they are a declining resource. It has been estimated that within 40 to 185 years, these trees could be lost from the landscape. Therefore, my project aims to address how native trees can have multiple outcomes in grazing landscapes. This research will focus on the following key areas: quantifying the zone of influence of an individual tree in regards to soil fertility and pasture attributes; associating changes in tree patterns with different tree species and soil types; examining the effect of tree density on soil and pasture patterns; and identifying some soil and pastoral mechanisms associated with eucalypt trees. The project is currently utilizing Crop CircleTM sensors to investigate how trees are influencing pasture biomass around isolated trees, and the EM38 in attempt to deduce the horizontal extent of tree roots around these trees.