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Integrated management of carbon, nutrients and water

A key research priority is around soil-plant processes that regulate interactions between carbon, nutrient and water cycles. Novel measurement systems are developed to identify land uses and management regimes that maximise synergies between carbon storage, greenhouse gas emissions, nutrient leaching, water use efficiency and the overall resilience of agroecosystems in a changing climate.

Carbon, nutrients and water are fundamental for ecosystem function. Managing these in an integrated way helps ensure that unwanted trade-offs are minimised and synergies maximised.  
 
We conduct research across different scales:  

  • Detailed laboratory experiments aim to understand specific plant, soil and microbial processes.  
  • Manipulative field experiments in paddocks, small plots, and lysimeters determine how new, innovative land management practices (e.g. novel plant combinations or grazing regimes) impact carbon, water and nutrient inputs/losses and greenhouse gas emissions.  
  • Regional to national scale studies quantify long-term (decadal) effects of different land management regimes on soil carbon and nitrogen storage and cycling. 

Quantitative data is used by others to parameterise models for research and regulatory purposes. 

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