Vegetation

Nationally vegetation conditions improved nearly everywhere.

National vegetation condition improved to levels last seen in 2017: 11% more than the previous year and 7% above the 2000–2020 average.

Vegetation conditions remained stable or improved nearly everywhere. The best conditions since 2000 were recorded in southwest WA, the Top End and parts of Tasmania. The greatest improvements occurred in bushfire-affected areas in southeast Australia. 

National average leaf area index

Vegetation condition improved but was still below average in the WA Goldfields region and southern South Australia.

National vegetation growth rates, estimated from weather and satellite data, were the best since 2011.

Nationally, growth was 16% better than the previous year and 17% above the 2000–2020 average.

Rank of leaf area index by bioregion

Growth conditions were well above average or the best since at least 2000 in all major cropping regions except South Australia. Growth conditions improved but remained below average in inland WA.

Farming conditions were good. Agricultural growth rates were well above average 2000–2020 levels in dryland cropping (+38%), irrigation (+27%) and grazing (+16%).

Growth conditions were also above average in native and plantation forestry (+10%) and natural environments (+16%).

Increased water availability and few bushfires led to expanded tree cover. Tree cover, the canopy fraction of vegetation >2 m tall, increased by 8% or 5 Mha from the previous year, reaching 7% above the 2000–2020 average extent.

National average vegetation carbon uptake

Tree cover increased most in southeast Australia, recovering losses in previous years due to drought and bushfire, and along the coast of southwest WA. 

Woody cover declined most strongly in inland WA, reaching the lowest values since at least 2010 or longer despite improved water availability.

National average woody vegetation cover fraction

Nationally, net increases occurred on grazing land (+2.0 Mha), in natural environments (+1.2 Mha) and on cropland (+0.7 Mha).