Land underpins terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity, which provide ecosystem functions and services to human societies. These include the provision of food and fibres, clean water, soil protection, and many other environmental and cultural benefits. Land plays a vital role in global climate systems by acting as a sink and a source of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Land and ecosystems are affected by climate change, including direct effects of droughts, floods, heat waves, and indirect effects on disturbances like wildfires, which can impact on plant and animal productivity and on human-ecosystem interactions.

The land theme focuses on understanding the interactions between land-based ecosystems and the atmosphere and the many opportunities for reducing GHG emissions and increasing carbon sequestration in these ecosystems. These opportunities involve cultural, technological, governance and corporate strategies that require interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral collaborations. They include mitigation and adaptation measures in agriculture, forestry, natural resource management and conservation that prioritise health, biodiversity and resilience of ecosystems and people, and of land-based industries. Such opportunities include but are not limited to support for nature-based solutions for carbon, biodiversity and sustainable production benefits, integrating renewable energy systems into rural landscapes, regenerative agriculture, and active and adaptive management to maintain and enhance carbon stores in forest ecosystems in the face of rapidly changing disturbance regimes.

Program leads

Professor Richard Eckard, Professor of Sustainable Agriculture, Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences; Director, Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre (PICCC)

Professor Rod Keenan, Chair of Forest and Ecosystem Science, Faculty of Science

Dr Hamish Clarke, Research Fellow - Future Fire Risk, Ecosystem and Forest Sciences

Dr Sabine Tausz-Posch, Senior Research Fellow & Acting Director Agricultural Innovation

A/Prof. Lauren Bennett, Principal Research Fellow (Forests And Carbon), Ecosystem and Forest Sciences

Grants and resources

ARC Research Hub for Smart Fertilisers

Scaling up Regenerative Agriculture

Trees on Farms

Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre

Additional Links

Wildfire Futures Hallmark Research Initiatives

Victoria Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub

Primary Industries Climate  Challenges Centre