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Vertical plant profiles for the Australian continent were derived through integration of ICESat GLAS waveforms with ALOS PALSAR and Landsat data products. Co-registered Landsat Foliage Projected Cover (FPC) and ALOS PALSAR L-band HH and HV mosaics were segmented to generate objects with similar radar backscatter and cover characteristics. Within these, height, cover, age class and L-band backscatter characteristics were summarised based on the ICESat and Landsat time-series and ALOS PALSAR datasets.
Ecosystem flux data from the Alice Springs site, Northern Territory.The Alice Springs Mulga flux station is located on Pine Hill cattle station, near Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.The woodland is characterised by a mulga (Acacia aneura) canopy, which is 6.5m tall on average. Elevation of the site is 606m above sea level, and the terrain is flat. Mean annual precipitation at the nearby (45km distant) Bureau of Meteorology station is 305.9mm but ranges between 100mm in 2009 to 750mm in 2010. Predominant wind directions are from the southeast and east.The extent of the woodland is 11km to the east of the flux station and 16km to the south. The soil is red sandy clay (50:50 sand:clay) overlying a 49m deep water table. Pine Hill Station is a functioning cattle station that has been in operation for longer than 50 years.The instrument mast is 13.7m tall. Fluxes of heat, water vapour and carbon are measured using the open-path eddy covariance technique at 11.6m. Supplementary measurements above the canopy include temperature and humidity (11.6m), windspeed and wind direction (9.25m), downwelling and upwelling shortwave and longwave radiation (12.2m). Precipitation is monitored in a canopy gap (2.5m). Supplementary measurements within and below the canopy include barometric pressure (1m), wind speed (2m, 4.25m and 6.5m), and temperature and humidity (2m, 4.25m and 6m).Belowground soil measurements are made in bare soil, mulga, and understory habitats and include ground heat flux (0.08m), soil temperature (0.02m – 0.06m) and soil moisture (0 – 0.1m, 0.1 – 0.3m, 0.6 – 0.8m and 1.0 – 1.2m).Ancillary measurements include soil water and carbon fluxes, leaf water potential, leaf gas exchange, stem basal area, stem growth, litter production, leaf area index, stem hydraulic conductance, and carbon and water stable isotope ratios.The site was established in September 2010 in conjunction with the Woodforde River NGCRT Superscience Site and is managed by the University of Technology Sydney.
The flux tower is located within the Yanco region of New South Wales, Australia. The site is located 37km south west of Narrandera, on the western plains of the Murrumbidgee Catchment. It was established in April 2012 and is managed by The University of Western Australia. This is a topographically flat area, primarily comprised of the following soil types: sandy loams, scattered clays, red brown earths, transitional red brown earth, sands over clay and deep sands. Stream valleys and layered soil and sedimentary materials are found across the landscape. The tower on site extends to 20m, however flux measurements are recorded from slightly lower than this. Mean annual precipitation from a nearby Bureau of Meteorology site measured 465 mm. Maximum temperatures ranged from 37.4°C (in January) to 16.6°C (in July), while minimum temperatures ranged from 29.0°C (in January) to 11.8°C (in July). Maximum temperatures varied on a seasonal basis by approximately 20.8°C and minimum temperatures by 17.2°C. The site is within a wider research area (60 x 60 km) that supports a network of OzNet stations, which have been in operation since late 2001 onwards.
The Gingin flux station is located in coastal heath Banksia woodland on the Swan Coastal Plain 70km north of Perth, Western Australia: (elevation: 51m), and 2km south of the University of Western Australia International Gravity Wave Observatory. The site was established in June 2011 by CSIRO and is now managed by Edith Cowan University Centre for Ecosystem Management. The site is a natural woodland of high species diversity. The overstorey is dominated by Banksia spp. mainly B. menziesii, B. attenuata, and B. grandis with a height of around 7m and leaf area index of about 0.8. There are occasional stands of eucalypts and acacia that reach to 10m and have a denser foliage cover. There are many former wetlands dotted around the woodland, most of which were inundated all winter and some had permanent water 30 years ago. The watertable has now fallen below the base of these systems and they are disconnected and are no longer permanently wet. The fine sediments, sometimes diatomaceous, hold water and they have perched watertables each winter. There is a natural progression of species accompanying this process as they gradually become more dominated by more xeric species. The soils are mainly Podosol sands, with low moisture holding capacity. Field capacity typically about 8 to 10%, and in summer these generally hold less than 2% moisture. The watertable is at about 8.5 m below the surface, and a WA Dept of water long-term monitoring piezometer is near the base of the tower. The instrument mast is 14m tall, with the eddy covariance instruments mounted at 14.8m. Fluxes of carbon dioxide, water vapour and heat are quantified with open-path eddy covariance instrumentation. Ancillary measurements include temperature, air humidity, wind speed and direction, precipitation, incoming and outgoing shortwave radiation, incoming and outgoing long wave radiation, incoming total and diffuse PAR and reflected PAR. Soil water content and temperature are measured at six soil depths. Surface soil heat fluxes are also measured. A COSMOS Cosmic ray soil moisture instrument is installed, along with a logged piezometer, and nested piezometers installed with short screens for groundwater profile sampling. To monitor the watertable gradient, piezometers will be installed 500 m esat and west of the tower.
The Samford flux station is situated on an improved (Paspalum dilatum) pasture in the humid subtropical climatic region of coastal south-east Queensland. Located only 20km from the centre of Brisbane city, Samford Valley provides an ideal case study to examine the impact of urbanisation and land use change on ecosystem processes.The valley covers an area of some 82km2 and is drained in the southern regions by the Samford creek, which extends some 13km to Samford Village and into the South Pine River.The Samford Valley is historically a rural area experiencing intense urbanisation, with the population increasing almost 50% in the 10 years to 2006 (Morton Bay Regional Council, 2011). Within the Samford valley study region, the Samford Ecological Research Facility (SERF) not only represents a microcosm of current and historical land uses in the valley, but provides a unique opportunity to intensively study various aspects of ecosystem health in a secure, integrated and long term research capacity.Mean annual minimum and maximum temperatures at a nearby Bureau of Meteorology site are 13.1°C and 25.6°C respectively while average rainfall is 1102mm.The station was installed in June 2010 and forms part of the TERN South East Qld Peri-urban Supersite. The Supersite was established around the Samford Ecological Research Facility (SERF), managed by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with the aim of investigating the influence of urban development on ecosystem functions.The SERF supersite is jointly funded by ACEAS-TERN and the QUT.