Boom and bust: the role of fire and rain in driving the dynamics of seeds and rodents in arid Australia [ 2004 - 2006 ]

Research Grant

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Researchers Dr CR DickmanDr GM Wardle

Brief description The arid Australian environment oscillates between spectacular boom periods, when biotic productivity and diversity are high, and busts, when biotic resources are depleted. This project first outlines a conceptual model of this dynamic and complex system. It then investigates the roles of rainfall and fire in driving boom-bust events, focusing particularly on food resources (seeds) and their consumers (desert rodents) in the hyper-variable Simpson Desert. We propose observations and experiments to quantify how these climatic events affect seed production, seed fate, and ultimately the dynamics of desert rodents, and outline their importance for effective management of the desert environment.

Funding Amount $255,000

Funding Scheme Discovery Projects

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