Boosting Natural Regeneration of the Nitrogen Capital in Grazing Lands
Our research aims to improve understanding of how the living soil cover, the so-called biocrusts, can improve nitrogen stocks and ecosystem services in Australian rangelands. With appropriate fire and cattle management, we expect the input of nitrogen-fixing biocrust microbes to boost soil fertility and pasture growth, and reduce erosion.
This Meat & Livestock Australia-funded project is a collaboration with grazing industry experts, microbial ecologists and remote sensing experts.
The research is performed at two long term research stations, Kidman Springs in the Northern Territory, and Wambiana in Central Queensland. We apply a suite of techniques that include testing biocrusts for nitrogen fixation potential, identifying microbial organisms and their function, and upscaling findings to the landscape level using remote sensing.