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The Monitor - issue four (January 2008)

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Research Programme One: Managing and Monitoring for Growth and Health
Issue four- January 2008 e-newsletter
The Monitor - forest information: sensing, measuring and modelling

Sustaining plantation production


A workshop in Perth on 5 December, “sustaining plantation production: a review” was a great example of how CRCs can deliver science that is both highly releva­nt to industry needs and scientifically challenging….

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Comment by External Science Reviewer


Dr David Whitehead conducted an external science review of Research Programme One and presented it at the CRC for Forestry Annual Science Meeting in July.

He found that work is well underway and that the programme is productive, relevant and likely to provide major science breakthroughs....

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Industry insights from Queensland

chapmanThe Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries is focused upon the considerable challenge of seeing a large hardwood plantation estate established in Queensland. Its participation with the CRC for Forestry is a critical platform in the department’s approach to develop strategic partnerships and alliances across the primary industries sector…

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New Australian forestry sector weed management project

Karina Potter, a CSIRO scientist with experience in weed research and modelling, is launching a research project to address weed management issues for the Australian forestry sector... 

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New scientific papers

Six new scientific papers are available from Programme One, covering leaf area and sub-tropical hardwood species; transpiration, photosynthesis, respiration, leaf development and environmental stress in Tasmanian blue gum; predicting Mycosphaerellaleaf disease severity using remote sensing; and weed distribution...

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Latest conference proceedings

Programme One scientists were active in Australia, South Africa, France, Canada and Austria. Many of the latest conference publications are available for download...

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Project news

Project 1.1: Monitoring and measuring


Site evaluation (subproject 1.1.1)

Collecting soils data is hard and expensive. Can we use our knowledge of soil formation and landscape models to get more value from our hard earned information?  Project 1.1.1 has been road testing a new method of predicting soil depth. While theories seem good, tests so far have not been supportive. However, site evaluation researchers have some good ideas as to how this might be improved....

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Remote sensing (subproject 1.1.2)

Real progress has been made in the team’s capability to show forest health on a map. At the same time, work so far has raised questions about many aspects of forest health modelling and the representation of forest health.

Recent work has focussed upon using satellite image data to create a single scene forest health map over the Green Hills pine plantation in southern New South Wales...

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New Australian forest LiDAR wiki
(airborne remote sensing: s
ubproject 1.1.3)

Land managers will be able to learn more about LiDAR, find data suppliers and current users of the technology, and explore sample datasets with the new Australian forest LiDAR wiki that has been developed by sub-project 1.1.3. 'Australian Forest LiDAR’ is scheduled to go live on the CRC for Forestry website this summer and has been constructed using the same wiki technology as that used by the wikipedia website. This means that the site can be maintained by the people who use it and it can easily be extended past the life of our project.

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Project 1.2: Managing and sustaining
Sustaining site resources (subproject 1.2.1)

With increased concern about drying of the Australian climate and the potential for plantation expansion to affect groundwater resources and stream flows, focus is upon the water use efficiency of plantations.Scientists in subproject 1.2.1  are drawing upon work conducted over the past 13 years, spanning three consecutive CRCs (Temperate Hardwood Forestry, Sustainable Production Forestry, Forestry), to examine water use efficiency in plantations in Tasmania and Western Australia.

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Forest health (subproject 1.2.2)

Insect defoliation has the potential to reduce tree growth but its effects are often difficult to quantify experimentally. How confident can we be that plants respond similarly to artificial and insect defoliation? To help answer this question, CRC for Forestry PhD student Audrey Quentin conducted a glasshouse experiment comparing the effects of artificial defoliation and defoliation by southern eucalyptus leaf beetle on Tasmanian blue gum...

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Project 1.3: Modelling and information integration

The impacts of weeds on forest productivity will be investigated with the establishment of paired plots in Tasmania and in the Green Triangle; and work is underway to identify weed communities in order to simplify the representation of weeds in models.

Project 1.3 also teamed up with Forestry Tasmania to examine processes controlling understorey water use in the Florentine Valley...

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Project 1.4: subtropical eucalypts

How do trees in the subtropics compare to those in temperate Australia? Project 1.4 measured daily patterns of water stress in young Eucalyptus pellita plantations in the Top End and found that after significant daytime stress during the dry seasons, trees recover to a stress free state overnight....

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Staff news

Belgian affiliate student Kim Calders visited scientists in Clayton, Victoria, and worked on leaf area analysis; Tammi Short joined subproject 1.2.1 (“sustaining site resources”); and Dr Karina Potter of CSIRO is launching a research project to address weed management issues for the Australian forestry sector.

The Monitor 5 is due May 2008. Please contact Maria Ottenschlaeger for more information.