Litchfield Savanna (52)

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Site name: Litchfield Savanna
Site number: 52
Point numbers: 205 (Litchfield Dry A), 206 (Litchfield Wet A), 207 (Litchfield Wet B), 208 (Litchfield Dry B)
Ecoregion: Tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas and shrublands
Participant and site owner: Adelaide University, Australian Landscape Trust, Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network
Site location: Northern Territory
Latitude: -13.170
Longitude: 130.790
Site description: The Litchfield Savanna TERN SuperSite represents high rainfall, frequently burnt, tropical savanna. At 1.9 million square kilometres, tropical savanna is the dominant ecosystem type across northern Australia. Understanding biogeochemical cycles, impacts of fire on sequestration, vegetation and fauna is a national priority.

The Litchfield Savanna TERN SuperSite is a 5 km x 5 km block of relatively uniform open-forest savanna inside Litchfield National Park, and about 80 km south of Darwin. In the Northern Territory, savanna ecosystems are largely intact in terms of tree cover, with only modest levels of land use change. Despite this, there is evidence of a loss of biodiversity, most likely due to shifts in fire regimes and a loss of patchiness in the landscape. Approximately 40% of the savanna burn every year and understanding fire impacts on fauna and flora is essential for effective land management.