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Brazilian conference on improvement and culture of eucalypts

brazillian-conference

From top to bottom:

Image 1.  Professor Prof. José Leonardo de Moraes Gonçalves of the University of São Paulo explains soil profiles and nutrient re-cycling processes to conference delegates on the mid-conference tour.


Image 2. The conference field trip took delegates to the site of an experiment that was measuring water flow through a plantation canopy and litter fall .


Image 3. At Varacel clonal plantation, harvesting, site preparation and planting operations were demonstrated to conference delegates.

Image 4. Site preparation: Ripping and initial discing of planting lines.

Image 5. Planting is conducted efficiently using specialised machinery.



Several CRCF staff attended the recent IUFRO conference on “Joining silvicultural and genetic strategies to minimize Eucalyptus environmental stresses: from research to practice” held in Porto Seguro, Brazil in November (visit conference website).

Theme sessions at the Porto Seguro conference were: (1) Forest Establishment and Regeneration; (2) Environmental stress (water, cold and salt stresses); (3) Genetics; (4) Ecophysiology and Hydrology; (5) Diseases and Pests; (6) Breeding; (7) Mixed plantation and Agroforestry; (8) Wood Technology; (9) Biotechnology; and (10) Social and environmental responsibility.

Electronic copies of the proceedings of the conference and presentations can be obtained from the conference website.

Four CRCF scientists were invited speakers: David Forester, Brad Potts, Phil Smethurst and Don White. CRCF Director, Gordon Duff also attended the conference.

Brad (UTAS, CRCF project 4.2) overviewed the genetic research undertaken by scientists at UTAS over the four years since the last meeting, in a talk entitled “Advances in eucalypt genetics: from genes to ecosystems“ (read more). In addition, he co-authored a talk presented by Greg Dutkowski entitled “Drought tolerant Eucalyptus globulus provenances have thick bark, high basic density and grow poorly on wet sites“.

Phil Smethurst (CSIRO/CRCF project 4.1) presented a talk entitled “Site and stand management: theory and practice in Australian plantation forests”; David Forrester (UMELB, CRCF Project 2.3 presented on “Quantifying the effects of species interactions in mixed species plantations”; Don White (CSIRO, CRC projects 2.2 and 4.1) on “Drought responses of eucalypts in plantations – from physiology to management”; Auro Almeida (CRCF 4.6) presented a talk on “Quantifying water use and biomass production by forest and pasture at plot- to catchment-scales” and also chaired the last session on “Social and environmental responsibility”.

Rod Griffin, who is a consultant and honorary research associate at the School of Plant Science (UTAS),  was also an invited speaker and presented a talk  entitled “Clonal Forestry – is it always the best deployment option?”

The conference was part of a series of conferences hosted every 2-4 years by the IUFRO Working group 2.08.03 on the silviculture and improvement of eucalypts. The CRC for Temperate Hardwood Forestry hosted a meeting that was part of this series, in Hobart in 1995 (read proceedings); subsequent meetings have been held in Salvador in Brazil (1997), Valdivia in Chile (2001), Aviera in Portugal (2004) and Durban in South Africa (2007 – see conference website).

Most delegates attended the mid-conference field day.  Delegates visited a number of experimental sites where studies were being conducted on nutrient recycling and soil/root dynamics (images 1-2).   They also visited plantations, operations, pulp mill and a nursery operated by Varacel Company (see images3-5), as well as the Atlantic Forest Reserve which is a remnant of the Brazilian coastal tropical rainforest and now a World Natural Heritage Site.





Biobuzz issue fifteen, December 2011