Phenology in the Mitchell Grass Country

Semi arid tropical grasslands dominated by the Mitchell grass (Astrebla spp.), the feather-top wire grass (Aristida spp.) and the Blue grass
(Dichanthium spp.) extend over 350 000 km2  in the Northern Territory and Queensland (Australia). These grasslands exhibit strong responses to rainfall events.

In November 2009, three sites in the Mitchell Grass country (Sturt Plains - Elliot, NT; Toorak - Julia Creek, Qld and Rosebank - Longreach, Qld) have been instrumented with soil moisture probes, rain gauge and NDVI sensors. In addition, one site (Sturt Plains) is equipped with a flux tower as part of the OzFlux network.

This work is done in collaboration with Ray Leuning, Bill Sea & Steve Zegelin (from CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Canberra, Australia), Jason Beringer (from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia), Lindsay Hutley (from C. Darwin University, Darwin, Australia) and David Phelps, Ian Houston (from Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Qld, Australia). The project has been partly funded by the FP6 Marie-Curie Human Resource Mobility Progam of the EU.


Instrumented site at Toorak (Qld) on 01.03.2010 (wet season). Credit : David Phelps/DAFF

See the last results obtained at :

Rosebank (Qld 23.514°S 144.256°E)

Toorak (Qld 21.018°S 141.781°E)

Sturt Plains (NT 17.150°S 133.361°E)