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Uptake - Issue 1 - Forest management water update

At the University of Melbourne, Pat Lane and the team have been working hard on field work and data analysis on a number of fronts. In the next issue they have promised to provide some detailed results on the effects of prescribed fire and thinning on water outcomes.

The following is just a brief update on recent activity and progress:

erosion measurement plots at Longcorner Creek

Pat Lane and Gary Sheridan setting up erosion measurement plots at the Longcorner Creek controlled burning experiment

The prescribed fire project

Data analysis from the catchment-scale experimental burn effect on water quality is almost complete, and a paper is in preparation to be submitted by the end of the year.  Analysis of erosion plot data for model development is also close to completion. 

The effect of thinning on water supply catchments

Sandra Hawthorne has been working hard through challenging logistical and technical issues and is nearing the end of the field component.  She is also deep in data analysis of both ground-based LAI data, LiDAR and Quickbird images, and streamflow analysis.  Some interesting results are beginning to emerge and we look forward to the 'story' emerging in the next year.

ground-based measurement of LAI: setting up a pole

Ground based measurement of LAI

Salvage logging and hydrology at Croppers Creek

This has also posed considerable challenges since the fire, with a very dynamic erosion system causing multiple instrumentation issues.  Thanks to dedicated technical staff we have gotten on top of these issues and are collecting high-quality data.  Hillslope erosion process experiments and catchment mapping are underway or completed to provide model parameters.  On the water yield side, analyses of post-fire flows is soon to begin, and modelling of pre-fire pine water use has been successfully concluded and is soon to be submitted as a paper.

Mixed-species plantation water use efficiency

The work on mixed-species plantation water use efficiency by David Forester has also been completed and almost written up.