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North Ryde, Australia

Johnson D.W.,University of Nevada, Reno | Turner J.,Forsci Pty Ltd
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2014

A review of forest N cycling literature indicates that most forest ecosystems contain less N than would be expected from even modest inputs of N from atmospheric deposition and N fixation over millennial time scales. Periodic fire could account for this disparity, even in humid systems during drought periods. In contrast to the millennial time scale patterns noted above, several forest ecosystems appear to accumulate more N than can be accounted for by measured or estimated inputs over decadal time scales. There appears to be some disparity between results from short term process studies and those from longer term budget analyses. Unmeasured inputs by dry deposition, non-symbiotic N fixation, or (in ecosystems with sedimentary parent materials) weathering of N from rocks may account for this occult N when it occurs. Research over the last two decades has suggested that N retained within forest ecosystems is not leached away after inputs have slowed, but remains within the system unless it is harvested or burned. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Turner J.,Forsci Pty Ltd | Lambert M.,Forsci Pty Ltd
Australian Forestry | Year: 2016

Estimates of expenditure provide an index of overall forest industry commitment to research and development that underpins sustainable forestry. This article reports on research expenditure and capacity for 2013 and is an extension of a sequence of five-yearly assessments on research undertaken since 1985. Expenditure in 2013 on forestry research was estimated to be about $38 million (m) and on forest products research about $10.1 m, or $48 m in total, which is a reduction from about $122 m (Australian dollars in 2013) in the mid-1980s. These estimates do not include administrative costs and overhead charges. The number of staff (scientists, technicians, support and graduate students) involved in forestry and products research was about 276 in 2013 compared with 794 in the mid-1980s. The structure and type of research being undertaken has undergone major changes since the initial assessment. At the time of the initial assessment (1985) both forest resources and research were largely under the stewardship of state governments and further research was supported by the Commonwealth Government through CSIRO and universities, with strong links between the timber producers and the timber processors. Research was considered fundamental to supporting the development and improvement of all aspects of forest management and production. The loss of linkages between forest management and research organisations, the move away from state and Commonwealth support for forestry and the shift from science-based management, has reduced support for continued research. For research to develop there need to be well-defined, long-term industry objectives with an understanding that such objectives may be achieved with the support of research. It is concluded that commitment to maintain a strong scientific basis for forestry in Australia is greatly diminished and there is no evidence that contraction will not continue further. © 2016 Institute of Foresters of Australia (IFA).

Turner J.,Forsci Pty Ltd | Lambert M.,Forsci Pty Ltd
Australian Forestry | Year: 2011

Total expenditure on forestry research and forest products research in 2007-2008 in Australia was $87.8 million. This comprised $61.0 million on forestry research and $26.8 million on forest products research and was estimated using the same methods as in the several previous assessments (Quick and Booth 1987; Lambert and Turner 1992; Turner and Lambert 1997, 2005). When some peripheral expenditure such as support, administration and surveys were included, the total expenditure increased to about $ 105.8 million. The total expenditure represents an annual average increase of about 3% since 1982 but a slow decline (0.45% per annum) in adjusted terms (1982 dollars). About 50 organisations reported undertaking forestry and or forest products research, while other organisations provided funding for research. The expenditure was attributed to four broad sectors undertaking research-Commonwealth, state, university and private-and also to broad research areas (native forests, exotic species plantations, native species plantations and environment). Research on native forests and exotic species plantations generally declined, whereas that on surveys in native forests and native species in plantations increased from 2001-2002 to 2007-2008. Similarly, research capacity declined in traditionally strong research areas such as pests and diseases and fire behaviour, and increased in energy areas such as carbon and forest bio-energy. About 600 full-time-effective researchers and technicians were involved in research in 2007-2008, plus support and management staff. The staffing numbers of individual organisations ranged from single individuals to more than fifty. In 2007-2008, about 52% of the research funds were provided directly or indirectly by the Commonwealth Government, 28% by state governments and 20% by private companies. Total expenditure on forestry and forest products research ($87.8 million) averaged $5.78 ha -1 of managed forest. The forestry research expenditure according to forest type comprised $14.80 ha -1 on exotic species plantations, $36.90 ha -1 on native species plantations and $0.99 ha -1 on native forests (including ecological and environmental research, and hydrological studies and fauna-flora research). Additionally, there was expenditure of about $0.45 ha -1 on land-based surveys (mainly biodiversity), primarily in native forests. Total expenditure on forestry and forest products research equated to an average of $3.90 n -3 of harvested timber. This comprised $ 1.02 m -3 on timber removals from exotic species plantations, $7.38 m -3 from native species plantations and $ 1.90 m -3 from native forests.

Turner J.,Forsci Pty Ltd | Lambert M.,Forsci Pty Ltd
New Forests | Year: 2013

Comparisons of plantation scale productive capacity and productivity were undertaken for first and second rotations of Pinus radiata plantation on clay soils in NSW, Australia where rotation length was about 30 years. Over a rotation, where there were no significant additions of nutrients, there were small declines in productivity from the first to the second rotation while productivity increased in the third rotation usually due to changes in management. On sites treated with significant quantities of phosphate fertilizer (50 kg P ha-1) in the second rotation, there were significant increases in the productivity of the second rotation with a residual effect into the third rotation. The early growth in the second rotation may be higher than the first rotation but the growth changes with age. Rotation length productivity appears to be related to the magnitude of soil nutrient pools. Nutrients such as calcium, potassium and boron appear to be affecting long term growth even though the foliage levels are much higher than normally considered limiting for growth. Most of the differences in productivity between rotations appear to be related to soil nutrients or management changes while potential genetic gains as estimated from experimental trials, are difficult to identify. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Turner J.,Forsci Pty Ltd | Lambert M.J.,Forsci Pty Ltd
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2011

A trial in an 11-year-old stand of radiata pine (Pinus radiata D. Don) was used to analyse the effects of accelerated loss of nutrients from the site on forest productivity and nutrient status. Raking of litter was undertaken over 14. years prior to thinning, then for 2. years after thinning at which time the trial was destroyed in a wind storm. The experimental design was a factorial of three main treatments: (i) removal (raking) versus nil removal of the forest floor, (ii) replacement or non replacement of nutrients to adjust for imbalances between nutrients in litter and those in the tree stem, and (iii) complete replacement (or not) of all nutrients removed in the litter. Additionally, a small trial was incorporated to address components of physical aspects of litter removal by comparing raking with 'raking and a cover of woven plastic mesh'. Raking and nutrient additions were carried out approximately every 6. months.Over the study period, the raking treatment removed about 75Mgha-1 of organic material with contained nutrients (559kgha-1 of N, 68kgha-1 of P, 323kgha-1 of Ca, 91kgha-1 of Mg, 243kgha-1 of K, 0.9kgha-1 of B) and this related to about four normal sawlog harvests or one total tree harvest. Up to the time of thinning, raking reduced basal area increment by 25% while raking together with replacement of nutrients reduced this by about 12%. Nutrient additions to unraked plots led to increases of up to 14% in basal area increment. The raking treatment reduced foliage nitrogen and this was correlated with reduced growth while other nutrients such as boron and sulphur were reduced but not to a degree to affect growth or health. The results were used to assess the effects on soil nutrient status and growth of different harvesting regimes (wood only, wood plus bark, total tree). © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

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