Carbon budgets and implications for fuel load and flammability of shrub-dominated ecosystems in the high country.

A change in only 10% of the carbon stored in the soil would be equivalent to all the anthropogenic CO2 emitted over 30 years (Kirschbaum, 2000). The influence of fire on the carbon balance of montane and sub-alpine ecosystems in Australia is virtually unexplored but clearly of importance given the extent of the ecosystems concerned, their carbon density, and their sensitivity to both fire and climate.  The focus of my PhD is to provide baseline data on carbon cycling from key vegetation types in the sub-alpine region of NSW, and to further elucidate the drivers of carbon flux in soils.

Kirschbaum, M.U.F. (2000) Will changes in soil organic carbon act as a positive or negative feedback on global warming? Biogeochemistry, 48, 21-51.

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