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Queensland, Australia

Damunupola J.W.,University of Peradeniya | Ratnayake K.,University of Queensland | Joyce D.C.,University of Queensland | Joyce D.C.,Sunshine Coast Mail Center | Irving D.E.,Yanco Agricultural Institute
Functional Plant Biology | Year: 2011

Early desiccation limits the vase life of Acacia cut flowers and foliage and may be attributable to poor hydraulic conductivity (K h) of the cut stems. Acacia holosericea A.Cunn. ex G.Don has been adopted as the test species to investigate the postharvest water relations of the genus Acacia. To understand potential constraints on K h, xylem conduits in cut A. holosericea stems were anatomically characterised by light and scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Vessels with simple perforation plates and tracheids were the principal water conducting cells. Bordered vestured intervessel pits were present in xylem vessel elements. The majority of conduits (89%) were short at 15cm long. Only 2% were 15-16cm in length. Mean xylem conduit diameter was 77±0.9m and the diameter profile showed a normal distribution, with 29% of diameters in the range of 70-80μm. Simple perforation plates can offer relatively low resistance to water flow. On the other hand, bordered vestured pits and short xylem conduits can confer comparatively high resistance to water flow. Overall, the presence of bordered vestured pits, together with a high proportion of short xylem conduits and high stomatal densities (232 ± 2mm-2) on unifacial phyllodes, could contribute to early dehydration of A. holosericea cut foliage stems standing in vase water. Further research will relate these anatomical features with changes in K h and transpiration of cut foliage stems. © 2011 CSIRO. Source


Srivastava S.K.,University of The Sunshine Coast | King L.,Sunshine Coast Mail Center | Mitchell C.,Khan Research Laboratories | Wiegand A.,University of The Sunshine Coast | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Wildland Fire | Year: 2013

The characterisation of spatiotemporal fire patchiness is requisite for informing biodiversity conservation management in many landscape settings. Often, conservation managers are reliant on manually derived fire-history mapping products that delineate fire perimeters. An alternative standard approach concerns the application of remote sensing, typically using band combination indices obtained from relatively fine-scale imagery sensors. For Fraser Island, a World Heritage Area in subtropical, fire-prone eastern Australia, we contrast diagnostic fire-regime characteristics for different vegetation types over a 20-year period (1989-2008) as derived from historical manual, and remotely sensed, fire-mapping approaches. For the remote sensing component we adapt a commonly used approach utilising a differenced normalised burn ratio (dNBR) index derived from Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery. Manual mapping resulted in overestimation of fire-affected area (especially large fires) and fire frequency, whereas the dNBR procedure resulted in underestimation of fire-affected area under low fire-severity conditions, and overestimation of fire patchiness. Of significance for conservation management, (1) age class and related distributions for flammable vegetation types differed markedly between the two mapping approaches, (2) regardless, both methods demonstrated that substantial fuel loads had accumulated in flammable vegetation types by the end of the study period and (3) fuel age was shown to have a more significant effect than did seasonality on the incidence of very large (>1000ha) fires. The study serves as an introduction to ongoing research concerning the measurement and application of fire patchiness to conservation management in flammable eastern Australian vegetation types. © 2013 IAWF. Source


Singh-Peterson L.,University of The Sunshine Coast | Salmon P.,University of The Sunshine Coast | Goode N.,University of The Sunshine Coast | Gallina J.,Sunshine Coast Mail Center
International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction | Year: 2014

There is a pressing need for longitudinal assessments of a community's level of disaster resilience in order to identify appropriate strategies for building and enhancing resilience. Despite significant challenges, there are several assessment tools available that organize and emphasize specific resilience themes in multiple ways, at multiple scales. In this study we adapt the Baseline Resilience Indicators for Communities (BRIC) to apply to our case study region and call upon local and district disaster management experts to evaluate the appropriateness of the assessment tool for this case study location. Our findings identify that the absence of an ecological resilience theme has limited the usefulness of the BRIC for the case study region, as has the inability of the BRIC to transition between local to regional scale indicators of resilience. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source


SinghPeterson L.,University of The Sunshine Coast | Salmon P.,University of The Sunshine Coast | Goode N.,University of The Sunshine Coast | Gallina J.,Sunshine Coast Mail Center
Natural Hazards | Year: 2016

There is demand for an assessment tool that can assist a community to prepare, respond and recover from emergencies and disasters. A participatory approach, in which communities undertake their own assessment, has been promoted as an ideal method of identifying strengths and vulnerabilities within the local community and has been associated with substantial co-benefits that directly enhance resilience. In this study, five small rural communities exposed to frequent flooding events evaluate the usefulness and efficacy of the Community Disaster Resilience Scorecard Toolkit Scorecard. Our participants reveal that the Scorecard covers relevant topics and has directly supported disaster resilience planning. Despite significant difficulties in attracting people to participate in the assessment, all of the participants considered that the process of assessment was immensely valuable. Overall the communities identified that the Scorecard does require adaption to provide a more accurate depiction of their community’s resilience and have suggested ways to achieve this. However underpinning the assessment and the evaluation tasks were deep concerns about the ‘shared responsibility’ position of government and the reliance upon fatigued volunteers to provide local knowledge and skills. © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht Source


Menzel C.M.,Sunshine Coast Mail Center | Smith L.A.,Sunshine Coast Mail Center | Moisander J.A.,Driscolls Australia
HortTechnology | Year: 2014

The effect of plastic high tunnels on the performance of two strawberry (Fragaria ·ananassa) cultivars (Festival and Rubygem) and two breeding lines was studied in southeastern Queensland, Australia, over 2 years. Production in this area is affected by rain, with direct damage to the fruit and the development of fruit disease before harvest. The main objective of the study was to determine whether plants growing under tunnels had less rain damage, a lower incidence of disease, and higher yields than plants growing outdoors. Plants growing under the tunnels or outdoors had at best only small differences in leaf, crown, root, and flower and immature fruit dry weight. These responses were associated with relatively similar temperatures and relative humidities in the two growing environments. Marketable yields were 38% higher under the tunnels compared with yields outdoors in year 1, and 24% higher in year 2, mainly due to less rain damage. There were only small differences in the incidences of grey mold (Botrytis cinerea) and small and misshaped fruit in the plants growing under the tunnels and outdoors. There were also only small differences in postharvest quality, total soluble solids, and titratable acidity between the two environments. These results highlight the potential of plastic high tunnels for strawberry plants growing in subtropical areas that receive significant rainfall during the production season. Source

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