The Australian SuperSite Network (SuperSites) is a national network of multidisciplinary ecosystem observatories. The ASN includes ten SuperSites that each represent a significant Australian biome. The network covers all States and Territories and spans a wide range of environmental conditions.
Each SuperSite hosts an OzFlux tower, and researchers also undertake intensive collection of various ecosystem measurements including detailed data sets on flora, fauna and biophysical processes. Through this work, SuperSites aims to improve our understanding of ecosystem response to environmental change.
The Calperum Mallee SuperSite is located on Calperum Station with research plots located in sparse mallee woodland, Callitris woodland and river floodplain that was heavily damaged by grazing and settlement and is now being actively restored and an extensive floodplain black box, river red gum and lignum ecosystem.
The Calperum Mallee is in the mallee semi-arid ecosystem, fringing the River Murray floodplains on Calperum Station, near Renmark South Australia. The area comprises undulating mallee woodlands and riverine vegetation that fringes the River. All areas are in the process of recovering from extensive grazing.
The Calperum Mallee SuperSite has established and reinforced research infrastructure that can measure and monitor the condition of a nationally iconic region.
This SuperSite is part of the Australian Flux Network Project and will build on and strengthen existing ecosystem monitoring, grazing and floodplain restoration experiments and link with in-stream water quantity and quality measurements and is an OzFlux energy, carbon and water monitoring site.
The SuperSite is investigating fluxes of water vapour and carbon dioxide between the atmosphere, upper soil layers and groundwater as well as monitoring the changes in vegetation and dependent biota associated with the different ecosystems of the Site.
Key research questions
- What are the fundamental energy, carbon, water and nutrient stocks and flows in the Mallee, Callitris woodland and river floodplain ecosystems?
- How are these stocks and flows responding to the management interventions (reduced and controlled grazing, controlled fire, controlled floods on the floodplain)?
- How are the biota changing in form, frequency and distribution as climate changes and more management interventions are imposed?
- How important is the connectivity between these ecosystems for hydrology, faunal movement and as refugia in times of drought?
Data is available at the TERN Data Discovery Portal (http://portal.tern.org.au/).
Terrestrial observation monitoring data from SuperSites are available at the SuperSites Data Portal (http://www.tern-supersites.net.au/knb/).
Flux data from SuperSites are available at the OzFlux Data Portal (http://ozflux.its.monash.edu.au/ecosystem/home).
Remote sensing data from SuperSites are available at AusCover Data Portal (http://www.auscover.org.au/).
PI: Wayne Meyer
PI: David Chittleborough
PI: Peter Cale