Evaluating the shifts in rainfall and pasture-growth variabilities across the pastoral zone of Australia during 1910–2010

Cobon, David and Kouadio, Louis and Mushtaq, Shahbaz and Jarvis, Chelsea and Carter, John and Stone, Grant and Davis, Peter (2019) Evaluating the shifts in rainfall and pasture-growth variabilities across the pastoral zone of Australia during 1910–2010. Crop and Pasture Science, 70 (7). pp. 634-647. ISSN 1836-0947

Abstract

Interannual rainfall variability in Australia is a source of risk within agricultural industries. Insights into changes to rainfall and pasture-growth variabilities are essential to inform adaptation strategies for climate risk management within the grazing industry. We investigated shifts in rainfall and pasture-growth variabilities between the periods 1910–1960 and 1961–2010 for the pastoral zone in Australia. Rainfall variability was also assessed for the high-rainfall and wheat–sheep zones. An index of variability was calculated by using gridded rainfall and pasture-growth data for both periods. The percentage change was then calculated as the difference in variation between the two periods. Overall, the variability of annual rainfall has significantly increased (P < 0.01) between the two periods for the pastoral zone. Pastoral regions in the Northern Territory had the greatest increases in pasture-growth variability, with 62–85% of the area affected by a significant increase in variability. Between the periods 1910–1960 and 1961–2010 across the wheat–sheep zone, annual rainfall variability significantly decreased (P < 0.01), with 70% of the area having a negative change, whereas for the high-rainfall zone, the variability did not change significantly. Monitoring ongoing trends in rainfall and pasture-growth variability is important to inform strategic grazing management. Management practices to mitigate the impacts of increased variability in pastoral regions are discussed.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Applied Climate Sciences (1 Aug 2018 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Applied Climate Sciences (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2019 02:52
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2019 06:01
Uncontrolled Keywords: climate variability, climate effects on pasture systems
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070104 Agricultural Spatial Analysis and Modelling
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070399 Crop and Pasture Production not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1071/CP18482
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/36876

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