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Rockhampton, Australia

Reid D.,Economic Development and Innovation
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment | Year: 2013

The off-site transport of agricultural chemicals, such as herbicides, into freshwater and marine ecosystems is a world-wide concern. The adoption of farm management practices that minimise herbicide transport in rainfall-runoff is a priority for the Australian sugarcane industry, particularly in the coastal catchments draining into the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef (GBR) lagoon. In this study, residual herbicide runoff and infiltration were measured using a rainfall simulator in a replicated trial on a brown Chromosol with 90-100% cane trash blanket cover in the Mackay Whitsunday region, Queensland. Management treatments included conventional 1.5m spaced sugarcane beds with a single row of sugarcane (CONV) and 2m spaced, controlled traffic sugarcane beds with dual sugarcane rows (0.8m apart) (2mCT). The aim was to simulate the first rainfall event after the application of the photosynthesis inhibiting (PSII) herbicides ametryn, atrazine, diuron and hexazinone, by broadcast (100% coverage, on bed and furrow) and banding (50-60% coverage, on bed only) methods. These events included heavy rainfall 1day after herbicide application, considered a worst case scenario, or rainfall 21days after application. The 2mCT rows had significantly (P<0.05) less runoff (38%) and lower peak runoff rates (43%) than CONV rows for a rainfall average of 93mm at 100mmh-1 (1:20yr Average Return Interval). Additionally, final infiltration rates were higher in 2mCT rows than CONV rows, with 72 and 52mmh-1 respectively. This resulted in load reductions of 60, 55, 47, and 48% for ametryn, atrazine, diuron and hexazinone from 2mCT rows, respectively. Herbicide losses in runoff were also reduced by 32-42% when applications were banded rather than broadcast. When rainfall was experienced 1day after application, a large percentage of herbicides were washed off the cane trash. However, by day 21, concentrations of herbicide residues on cane trash were lower and more resistant to washoff, resulting in lower losses in runoff. Consequently, ametryn and atrazine event mean concentrations in runoff were approximately 8 fold lower at day 21 compared with day 1, whilst diuron and hexazinone were only 1.6-1.9 fold lower, suggesting longer persistence of these chemicals. Runoff collected at the end of the paddock in natural rainfall events indicated consistent though smaller treatment differences to the rainfall simulation study. Overall, it was the combination of early application, banding and controlled traffic that was most effective in reducing herbicide losses in runoff. © 2012.


Chauhan Y.S.,Economic Development and Innovation
Agricultural Water Management | Year: 2010

The growing demand for maize (Zea mays L.) in intensive livestock and other industries has opened up fresh opportunities for further expansion of the maize industry in Australia, which could be targeted in relatively water rich semi-arid tropical (SAT) regions of the country. This crop simulation study assessed the potential productivity and water requirements of maize peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) rotations for the SAT climatic zone of Australia using the Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM) model. APSIM was configured to simulate maize (Pioneer hybrid 3153) either in the dry (May-October) or wet season (November-April) and peanut (cv. Conder) in the following season for three soils found at Katherine (14.48°S, 132.25°E) from 1957 to 2008. The simulated mean total yield potential of the dry season maize and wet season peanut (DMWP) rotation (15-19.2 t/ha) was about 28% greater than the wet season maize-dry season peanut (WMDP) rotation because of the higher yield potential of maize in the dry season compared to in the wet season. These high yields in the DMWP rotation have been achieved commercially. The overall simulated irrigation water requirement for both rotations, which varied from 11.5 to 13.8 ML/ha on different soils, was similar. The DMWP rotation had 21% higher water use efficiency. Similar yield and water use efficiency advantages of the DMWP rotation were apparent for eight other agriculturally important locations in the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland. The simulations for Katherine also suggested that the irrigation requirement of the two rotations could increase by 17.5% in El-Nino years compared to La-Nina years for only a small gain in yield, which has implications for climate change scenarios. © 2009.


Offler R.,University of Newcastle | Murray C.,Economic Development and Innovation
Gondwana Research | Year: 2011

The tectonic setting of the Devonian rocks in the New England Orogen has been the subject of considerable debate and controversy for many years. Our studies reveal that they have formed in intra-oceanic island arc and back arc basin (BAB) settings based on Th/Yb, Nb/Yb, Ba/La and Zr/Y ratios. Further, many of the samples that formed in a BAB have a mixture of MORB and arc-like characteristics, a few are almost entirely MORB-like. The arc-like features are believed to be due to the presence of a subduction component in the basaltic magma, the amount of which is controlled by the distance from the arc. Those samples with MORB-like compositions are thought to have originated at spreading centres. The compositions of Late Devonian basalts become more arc-like to the west suggesting a west facing polarity. Based on the tectonic setting and spatial relationship of Late Devonian sequences, we propose that two subduction zones existed during the Late Devonian, one dipping west beneath the Lachlan Orogen, the other dipping east beneath a rifted intra oceanic arc. Obduction of this intra oceanic arc over the continental margin of the Lachlan Orogen in the latest Devonian at approximately 375. Ma led to the development of a new west dipping subduction zone oceanward and commencement of continental, arc magmatism. © 2010 International Association for Gondwana Research.


Lambkin T.A.,Economic Development and Innovation | Furlong M.J.,University of Queensland
Journal of Economic Entomology | Year: 2011

The susceptibility of six Australian broiler house populations and an insecticide susceptible population of lesser mealworm, Alphitobius diaperinus (Panzer) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae), to cyfluthrin, ββ-cyfluthrin, γ-cyhalothrin, and deltamethrin was investigated. One broiler house population had equivalent susceptibility to the susceptible to β-cyfluthrin and γ-cyhalothrin, with higher susceptibility to cyfluthrin and deltamethrin. The remaining five populations demonstrated strong resistance to cyfluthrin (19-37-fold), the insecticide used most widely for management of A. diaperinus in Australia. Each cyfluthrin-resistant population demonstrated reduced susceptibility to ββ-cyfluthrin (resistance ratios were 8-17-fold), deltamethrin (2.5-8-fold), and γ-cyhalothrin (6-12-fold) compared with the laboratory population, but cross-resistance patterns varied considerably between populations. Adding piperonyl butoxide (PBO) had no effect on the susceptibility of the susceptible population to any of the insecticides, but it increased the susceptibility of each of the five cyfluthrin-resistant populations: to cyfluthrin (synergism ratio range, 1.9-5.0-fold), ββ-cyfluthrin (1.6- 4.1-fold), and γ-cyhalothrin (1.7-2.0-fold). PBO had a more variable effect on susceptibility to deltamethrin, with three of the cyfluthrin-resistant populations being more susceptible to deltamethrin in the presence of PBO, but susceptibility of the remaining two populations was unaffected by adding PBO (synergism ratio range, 0.9-2.5-fold). Overall, the addition of PBO to the four pyrethroids had variable effects on their susceptibility. This variability indicated the presence of other resistance mechanisms in beetle populations apart from metabolic resistance. In addition, the relative importance of metabolic resistance in each beetle population varied widely between pyrethroids. Thus, it cannot be assumed that PBO will reliably synergize pyrethroids against cyfluthrin-resistant lesser mealworm populations when using it to mitigate insecticide resistance. © 2011 Entomological Society of America.


Kuballa A.V.,University of The Sunshine Coast | Holton T.A.,University of Queensland | Paterson B.,Economic Development and Innovation | Elizur A.,University of The Sunshine Coast
BMC Genomics | Year: 2011

Background: Crustacean moulting is a complex process involving many regulatory pathways. A holistic approach to examine differential gene expression profiles of transcripts relevant to the moulting process, across all moult cycle stages, was used in this study. Custom cDNA microarrays were constructed for Portunus pelagicus. The printed arrays contained 5000 transcripts derived from both the whole organism, and from individual organs such as the brain, eyestalk, mandibular organ and Y-organ from all moult cycle stages.Results: A total of 556 clones were sequenced from the cDNA libraries used to construct the arrays. These cDNAs represented 175 singletons and 62 contigs, resulting in 237 unique putative genes. The gene sequences were classified into the following biological functions: cuticular proteins associated with arthropod exoskeletons, farnesoic acid O-methyltransferase (FaMeT), proteins belonging to the hemocyanin gene family, lectins, proteins relevant to lipid metabolism, mitochondrial proteins, muscle related proteins, phenoloxidase activators and ribosomal proteins. Moult cycle-related differential expression patterns were observed for many transcripts. Of particular interest were those relating to the formation and hardening of the exoskeleton, and genes associated with cell respiration and energy metabolism.Conclusions: The expression data presented here provide a chronological depiction of the molecular events associated with the biological changes that occur during the crustacean moult cycle. Tracing the temporal expression patterns of a large variety of transcripts involved in the moult cycle of P. pelagicus can provide a greater understanding of gene function, interaction, and regulation of both known and new genes with respect to the moulting process. © 2011 Kuballa et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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