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Bunbury, Australia

Murphy G.E.,Oregon State University | Acuna M.A.,University of Tasmania | Dumbrell I.,Forest Products Commission
Canadian Journal of Forest Research | Year: 2010

New sensor-based approaches for assessing the quantity, quality, and value of timber are being developed with the goals of improving the accuracy and economics of forest measurements. One new approach is based on terrestrial laser scanning (TLS). Thirty-three plots in six radiata pine (Pinus radiata D. Don) stands were scanned using TLS. Tree locations were automatically detected. Stem profiles were measured using three methods: (i) TLS scans, (ii) Atlas Cruiser inventory procedures, and (iii) manual measurement after harvesting. Stems were optimally bucked based on log specifications and prices for Australian markets. Tree values and log product yields were estimated for the TLS data and compared with estimates based on Cruiser and actual manual measurements of stem profiles. TLS volume and value recovery were within 8% and 7%, respectively, of actual harvester recovery for five of the six stands in which it was used. Cruiser volume and value estimates were both within 4% of actual harvester recovery. Plot preparation procedures, tree characteristics, and taper equations used to model diameters on hidden stem sections affected the accuracy of automated stem detection and profile measurements for the TLS system. Improvements in data capture and analytical procedures should improve the accuracy of TLS-based volume and value estimates. Source

Sawyer B.,Forest Products Commission
Rangeland Journal | Year: 2013

Harvesting of sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) occurs mainly from wild stands in the semi-arid and arid regions (typical annual rainfall 150-300mm) of Western Australia. Regeneration of wild sandalwood in these regions is believed to be low since the occurrence of changes in land use associated with European settlement. This is thought to be due to factors including drought, poor seed dispersal and grazing. The objective of the study was to increase the germination and establishment of sandalwood through exploring seed response to rainfall. Additionally, the potential of soil-preparation techniques to utilise trace amounts of moisture was investigated. Two 25-ha plots were located either side of the semi-arid-arid divide. Into the plots 16 replicates of the control and 96 replicates of treatments were installed and sown with 11200 seeds. Rainfall and other weather parameters were recorded at each site with an automated weather station. The study was replicated in 2008 and 2009. It was concluded from the study that there was a statistically significant relationship between germination and rainfall. It is proposed that the germination threshold is 264mm per year which coincides with the long-term annual rainfall average of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. Furthermore, a statistically significant relationship between germination and soil preparation was demonstrated. Ripping crust-forming soils before sowing and the construction of water-harvest banks had a positive effect. Information gained from these studies has led to the Western Australian State Government implementing a seeding program to increase sandalwood regeneration in the semi-arid region. © 2013 The State of Queensland (through the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry). Source

Whitford K.R.,Science Division | Stoneman G.,Sustainable Forest Management Division | Seymour A.,Forest Products Commission | Murray P.,Forest Management Branch | And 2 more authors.
Australian Forestry | Year: 2012

Timber harvesting with heavy machinery can cause long-lasting compaction of forest soils, adversely affecting soil processes such as infiltration and respiration that are fundamental to forest health. This study examined the effectiveness of corduroying as a means of reducing soil compaction on log extraction tracks during timber harvesting under moist soil conditions in the forests of south-western Western Australia. The effects of the weight of logs removed from the stand, soil gravel content and initial bulk density, were also considered. Timber harvesting under moist soil conditions lead to significant compaction of surface soil on primary and secondary extraction tracks. This compaction was significantly related to four factors: timber load, initial soil bulk density and gravel content, and the use of cording. Compaction increased as the total load of timber hauled over the tracks increased. Soils with a high initial bulk density were less compacted during timber harvesting than soils with a low initial bulk density. On soils with initial bulk densities greater than about 0.55 g cm-3, compaction decreased as gravel content of the soil increased. Cording also significantly reduced soil compaction, but this reduction was small and may not justify the cost or the associated negative environmental impacts of routinely using corduroying while harvesting timber on moist soil. While reducing the load of timber hauled over an extraction track reduces soil compaction, this does not provide a practical solution for reducing soil damage in timber harvesting. Rather than dispersing traffic across many extraction tracks to reduce the load on individual tracks, the impact of soil compaction is best minimised by focusing all traffic onto as few tracks as possible; thus minimising the area of forest soil that is compacted by harvesting machinery. In addition, reusing compacted extraction tracks that remain from any previous harvesting is one of the most effective means of reducing the impact of timber harvesting on forest soils. Source

University of British Columbia, University of Western Australia and Forest Products Commission | Date: 2015-02-20

An isolated nucleic acid molecule that encodes a terpene synthase and is selected from among: a) a nucleic acid molecule comprising the sequence of nucleotides set forth in SEQ ID NO: 1, SEQ ID NO: 3 or SEQ ID NO: 5; b) a nucleic acid molecule that is a fragment of (a); c) a nucleic acid molecule comprising a sequence of nucleotides that is complementary to (a) or (b); and d) a nucleic acid molecule that encodes a terpene synthase having at least or at least about 60%, 65%, 70%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 90%, 95%, 96%, 97%, 98%, 99% identity to any one of (a)-(c); wherein the nucleic acid molecule encodes a terpene synthase.

White D.A.,University of Tasmania | White D.A.,Whitegum Forest and Natural Resources Pty Ltd | McGrath J.F.,Cooperative Research Center for Future Farm Industries | Ryan M.G.,Colorado State University | And 6 more authors.
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2014

This paper tests the hypothesis that thinning and nitrogen fertiliser can increase the mass of wood produced per volume of water used (evapotranspiration) by plantations of Eucalyptus globulus. We have called this plantation water productivity (PWPWOOD) and argue that, for a given genotype, this term integrates the effects of management, site and climate on both production and evapotranspiration. This is done using annual estimates of wood production and evapotranspiration from age three years to harvest age (~age 10years) in three E. globulus stocking density by nitrogen experiments. The ratio of annual rainfall to potential evaporation at these three sites varied from 0.85 to 0.45.Plantation water productivity (PWPWOOD) was calculated as the ratio of annual growth to annual evapotranspiration. In this study, the PWPWOOD of E. globulus varied from 0.2 to 3.1gkg-1 and was significantly increased by the application of nitrogen at two sites where growth was nitrogen limited. In fertilised stands, soil stored water was depleted early in the summer while in contrast, unfertilised stands used the water more slowly, thereby extending the growth season to late summer when average daily evaporation was much higher. Increased PWPWOOD in response to nitrogen was associated with an increase in water stress that could be mitigated by reducing stocking density without affecting either production or PWPWOOD.Plantations are managed at the compartment scale while water resources are monitored and managed at the catchment scale or larger. At the compartment scale, growth and PWPWOOD are correlated with evapotranspiration; managing plantations to maximise water use can also minimise the impact of wood production on water resources. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

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