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Title: A regional interpretation of rules and good practice for greenhouse accounting: northern Australian savanna systems
Contributor(s): Henry, Beverly (author); Mitchell, Chris (author); Cowie, Annette  (author); Woldring, Oliver (author); Carter, John (author)
Publication Date: 2005
DOI: 10.1071/BT04200
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Abstract: Land-use change, particularly clearing of forests for agriculture, has contributed significantly to the observed rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. Concern about the impacts on climate has led to efforts to monitor and curtail the rapid increase in concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Internationally, much of the current focus is on the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Although electing to not ratify the Protocol, Australia, as a party to the UNFCCC, reports on national greenhouse gas emissions, trends in emissions and abatement measures. In this paper we review the complex accounting rules for human activities affecting greenhouse gas fluxes in the terrestrial biosphere and explore implications and potential opportunities for managing carbon in the savanna ecosystems of northern Australia. Savannas in Australia are managed for grazing as well as for cultural and environmental values against a background of extreme climate variability and disturbance, notably fire. Methane from livestock and non-CO₂ emissions from burning are important components of the total greenhouse gas emissions associated with management of savannas. International developments in carbon accounting for the terrestrial biosphere bring a requirement for better attribution of change in carbon stocks and more detailed and spatially explicit data on such characteristics of savanna ecosystems as fire regimes, production and type of fuel for burning, drivers of woody encroachment, rates of woody regrowth, stocking rates and grazing impacts. The benefits of improved biophysical information and of understanding the impacts on ecosystem function of natural factors and management options will extend beyond greenhouse accounting to better land management for multiple objectives.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Australian Journal of Botany, 53(7), p. 589-605
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 1444-9862
Field of Research (FOR): 050102 Ecosystem Function
050104 Landscape Ecology
050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 960302 Climate Change Mitigation Strategies
960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales
960301 Climate Change Adaptation Measures
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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