Litchfield Savanna SuperSite

TERN’s Litchfield Savanna SuperSite is located within Litchfield National Park, about 80 km south of Darwin, Northern Territory, in a high rainfall, frequently burnt, tropical savanna—the dominant ecosystem type across northern Australia.

Site Infrastructure & Characteristics

SuperSite Research Infrastructure
  • One eddy-covariance flux tower
  • Soil water content and temperature sensors
  • Phenocams
  • Two x 1 ha Surveillance monitoring plots
  • Airborne LiDAR and hyperspectral imagery calibrated using SLATS star transects, leaf sampling, tree structure and LAI measurements
SuperSite Details
  • Vegetation type: Tropical savanna
  • Elevation: 220 m
  • Mean Temperature: 26.6°C
  • Soils: Kandosols

Site Research

Research using the Litchfield Savanna SuperSite aims to answer these key questions:
  • What are the impacts of prevailing fire regimes (primarily frequency, but also intensity, extent, heterogeneity) on vegetation structure and composition, habitat quality, fragmentation and vertebrate faunal biodiversity?
  • How does vegetation structure, climate drivers and fire regime influence savanna carbon sequestration rate?
  • How can fire management contribute to greenhouse gas abatement and carbon sequestration in savanna ecosystems?
  • What is the impact of climate change on fire regimes and subsequent feedbacks to savanna carbon and water cycles?

Site Partners

Research Publications

Since its inception, TERN’s infrastructure has enabled the publication of more than 1600 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles or books.