Global challenges: food, water, climate

 

TASK OVERVIEW – In 13 pages or less, prepare a report summarizing the landscape features and current landuse at the property “Arthursleigh”, and analyzing the effects of landuse change over the last 180 years on the vegetation, soil and water resources of the property.

 

DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS ON THE EXPECTED REPORT LAYOUT

  1. COVER PAGE (5% of report mark) – no more than one page, including a title for your report, your SID (not your name) and a 100-word summary that succinctly describes the main findings of your report. No figures, no tables, no references.
  2. INTRODUCTION (25% of report mark) – no more than three pages, including diagrams/tables. Using at least one map describe the location of “Arthursleigh”, and give an account of the average climatic conditions, the main local watercourses, the main vegetation communities, and the main soil types and/or geological formations of the area. Give a brief overview of the main agricultural operations at

“Arthursleigh”. This section may include tables of data, photographs, figures and citations to references.

  1. NATIVE VEGETATION BIOMASS (15% of report mark) – no more than two pages, including diagrams/tables. Create and present frequency histograms of DBH and tree height and complete the summary table of data for your vegetation type. Using these data describe the trees and litter in your vegetation type and the size of the carbon pools they represent. Using the points of discussion provided, discuss the benefits of the trees remaining in the landscape. This section may include photographs, figures and citations to references.
  2. PASTURE PRODUCTION, GRAZING & SOIL EROSION (15% of report mark) – no more than two pages, including diagrams/tables. Determine the mean NDVI for 2019 and 2020. Why do you think there are differences in NDVI between 2019 and 2020? Using Ground Cover datasets from Autumn 2019 & Autumn 2020, what has been the largest change (visually estimated) in the fractional cover types (Green-vegetation (living), Non-green vegetation (dead or dormant vegetation) and Bare soil)? In your GIS practicals we have looked at factors which will affect erosion. Using the drone images of 1) Cropped paddock 2) Improved pasture and 3) a Native/weed-invaded paddock, briefly describe for each of your vegetation types how susceptible they are to erosion and what measurements could you use to determine their susceptibility to erosion. Will these measurements remain constant over the course of the year? What role do livestock (sheep, cattle) play in influencing these measurements and how might livestock need to be managed differently during a drought year?  This section may include photographs, figures, and citations to references.
  3. CHANGES IN SOIL PROPERTIES (15% of report mark) – no more than two pages, including diagrams/tables. Assemble a table of soil data from the fieldtrip, compare the fundamental soil properties at different positions down a slope, and between areas of native vegetation and pasture. Briefly describe how these measurements were made. How has clearing and pastoral landuse affected the soil, and how does the soil change as one moves down the slope? This section may include photographs, figures and citations to references.
  4. ESTIMATING SEDIMENT AND P EXPORT FROM GULLIES (15% of report mark) – no more than two pages, including diagrams/tables. Using data from the fieldtrip, calculate the loss of soil/sediment (in tonnes) by erosion from the gully captured by the drone using QGIS. Also, using the total P data layer that you used in past QGIS practical 4, approximate how much P is in the topsoil on Arthursleigh and estimate how much P has been exported from that gully. Briefly describe how these measurements and calculations were made, describe limitations of the calculations and explain in a few succinct points what impacts this erosion may have on the farm and downstream water users. This section may include photographs, figures, and citations to references.
  5. CONCLUSIONS (10% of report mark) – no more than one page and comprised of five extended dot points. Describe the five main conclusions you have drawn from this fieldtrip, including at least one on native vegetation, one on pasture, one on the soil and one on the erosion gullies of the farm.
  6. REFERENCES (no specific mark value) – if you have included citations to other research in your report, you must include a reference list. If you have a reference list, use the APA 6th Referencing and Citation Style. http://libguides.library.usyd.edu.au/c.php?g=508212&p=3476096

 

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Although the clarity of writing and formatting has not been given a specific weighting for this report, these attributes will be taken into account by the markers for each section described above. Remember to use proper English syntax and grammar, to write in sentences and paragraphs, to use (self-explanatory) captions for all maps, figures, tables and photographs, and to include a reference list if you have used citations to other studies.