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Alstonville, Australia

Morand D.T.,Office of Environment and Heritage | Morand D.T.,Southern Cross University of Australia
Soil Research

Few soil surveys in New South Wales have utilised international soil classifications. Extensive morphological and laboratory data collected during soil surveys in the Northern Rivers region provided a strong basis for correlation with the World Reference Base for Soil Resources (WRB), Soil Taxonomy (ST), and the Australian Soil Classification (ASC). Of the 32 reference soil groups comprising the WRB, 20 were present locally; nine of the 12 ST orders were present. After re-classification of soils, correlation of the ASC with the WRB and ST was undertaken. Soils not requiring extensive laboratory analysis for classification and sharing similar central concepts were the more straightforward to correlate. Several ASC orders have unique central concepts and were therefore difficult to correlate with any one WRB reference soil group or ST order/suborder. Other soils were difficult to correlate due to differences in definitions of similar diagnostic criteria. This is most applicable to soils with strong texture-contrast and those with natric conditions. Such soils are not adequately differentiated to suit the Northern Rivers conditions. Of the two international schemes, the WRB was easier to apply locally due to the relative simplicity of the scheme. Considering certain aspects of Australian soils would improve the applicability of the WRB as a truly international framework for soil classification and correlation. Amendments to both the ASC and WRB are suggested. © 2013 CSIRO. Source

Stenson M.P.,CSIRO | Littleboy M.,Office of Environment and Heritage | Gilfedder M.,CSIRO
Environmental Modelling and Software

Water and salt export to rivers is of particular importance in large catchments, such as Australia's Murray-Darling Basin, where there are multiple users of the water resource. Comparing estimates of water and salt generated from upland catchments across large areas is difficult due to the lack of a comparable, consistent approach. River routing models are currently used to model water and salt movement along regulated reaches. However methods are still required to predict the individual contributions of water and salt from unregulated upland catchments to feed into these river routing models. The 2CSalt model has been developed to predict monthly water and salt export from these upland catchments. 2CSalt makes use of existing regional data sets such as topography (digital elevation models) and hydrogeology/salinity (Groundwater Flow Systems). 2CSalt was developed using the " TIME" modelling framework which allowed for a rapid development cycle through the reuse of existing and tested components. The results from current applications of the model show a strong match with measured data. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Context Prescribed burning is routinely performed within the Sydney Basin as a method of fire-hazard mitigation. Despite the widespread use of prescribed fire, knowledge of the impact of prescribed fire on most fauna species remains unclear. This is particularly the case for bandicoot species. Aims To determine the impact of a low-intensity prescribed fire on the survival of the long-nosed bandicoot, Perameles nasuta, and the southern brown bandicoot, Isoodon obesulus obesulus (hereafter abbreviated to I. obesulus), immediately after the fire and at 5 weeks, 5 months and 13 months following the fire. To document the spatial ecology and nesting requirements of I. obesulus and P. nasuta before and after fire. Methods One I. obesulus and seven P. nasuta (five female and two male) individuals were radio-tracked. Animals were tracked before, during and following a hazard-reduction burn to assess the impact of fire on home range, survival and nesting behaviour. Key results Post-fire survival of P. nasuta and I. obesulus was high and the population remained stable up to 5 months following the fire. All animals tracked within the burn area (three female P. nasuta) survived the passage of fire. The home range for one male I. obesulus was found to be 2.35ha 50% kernel-density estimate (KDE) and 12.35ha 95% KDE. Female P. nasuta (n ≤ 5) had a home range of 1.3ha0.2s.e. 50% KDE and 7.5ha1.7s.e. 95% KDE. Male P. nasuta (n ≤ 1) had a home range of 1.1ha 50% KDE and 6.5ha 95% KDE. Nesting for both species tended to occur in dense vegetation, with a slight shift to non-combustible refuge sites post-fire. Animals tended to maintain exclusive and relatively stable core home ranges, although overlap of non-core home ranges was common. Conclusions The survival of bandicoots following a low-intensity hazard-reduction fire was high in the short term; however, further research is required to determine how the components of a fire regime affect native species, in particular peramelids. Implications Hazard-reduction fires should be used with caution to manage the isolated and endangered northern Sydney population of I. obesulus, so as to ensure the persistence of this species. © CSIRO 2012. Source

Evans J.P.,University of New South Wales | Ekstrom M.,CSIRO | Ji F.,Office of Environment and Heritage
Climate Dynamics

When using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) modelling system it is necessary to choose between many parametrisations for each physics option. This study examines the performance of various physics scheme combinations on the simulation of a series of rainfall events near the south-east coast of Australia known as East Coast Lows. A thirty-six member multi-physics ensemble was created such that each member had a unique set of physics parametrisations. No single ensemble member was found to perform best for all events, variables and metrics. This is reflected in the fact that different climate variables are found to be sensitive to different physical parametrisations. While a standardised super-metric can be used to identify best performers, a step-wise decision approach described here, allows explicit recognition of the "robustness" of choosing one parameterisation over another, allowing the identification of a group of "equally robustly" performing physics combinations. These results suggest that the Mellor-Yamada-Janjic planetary boundary layer scheme and the Betts-Miller-Janjic cumulus scheme can be chosen with some robustness. Possibly with greater confidence, the results also suggest that the Yonsei University planetary boundary layer scheme, Kain-Fritsch cumulus scheme and RRTMG radiation scheme should not be used in combination in this region. Results further indicate that the selection of physics scheme options has larger impact on model performance during the more intensive rainfall events. © 2011 Springer-Verlag. Source

Kalkman V.J.,Naturalis Biodiversity Center | Theischinger G.,Office of Environment and Heritage
International Journal of Odonatology

The subfamily Argiolestinae is raised to family level to include all zygopteran genera in which the gills of the larvae are flat and held in a horizontal plane. Adiagnosis of the family is given and characters for both adults and larvae are presented. The family is divided into two subfamilies based on characters in the genital ligula, with the subfamily Argiolestinae found in Australasia east of Huxley's Line and the subfamily Podolestinae found in Africa and Asia west of Huxley's Line. Four genera are newly described: Eoargiolestes (New Caledonia, type species Sympecma ochracea Montrouzier, 1864), Luzonargiolestes (Philippines, type species Argiolestes realensis Gapud & Recuenco, 1993), Solomonargiolestes (Bougainville, Papua New Guinea and Malaita, Solomon Islands, type species Argiolestes bougainville Kalkman, 2008) and Pyrrhargiolestes (Papua New Guinea, type species Argiolestes sidonia Martin, 1909). In addition Metagrion (type species Argiolestes postnodalis Selys, 1878) and Wahnesia (type species Argiolestes kirbyi Förster, 1900), two genera not in use for over 70 years, are reinstated. Based on molecular data the African genera Neurolestes and Nesolestes have been shown to be good genera and are here treated as such, Nesolestes nigeriensis is transferred to Neurolestes. All 20 genera included in Argiolestidae are discussed, with type species, key characters of adults, distribution and habitat being given. In addition a diagnosis is presented for each genus and information is given on their identification together with a map of the distribution of the genus and scanning electron microscope images of the genital ligula of most genera. A keyto the genera of the Australasian region is presented and keys to the species of Caledargiolestes, Caledopteryx and Podopteryx are given. New distributional records of Caledargiolestes, Caledopteryx, Luzonargiolestes, Solomonargiolestes and Podopteryx are provided. © 2013 Worldwide Dragonfly Association. Source

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