School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences - Research Publications

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    Tamanu (Calophyllum inophyllum) growth performance on different types of degraded peatlands in Central Kalimantan
    Leksono, B ; Windyarini, E ; Hasnah, TM ; Saijo, ; Fahruni, ; Maimunah, S ; Artati, Y ; Baral, H (IOP Publishing, 2021-11-26)
    Abstract To achieve its national goals in climate and landscape resilience, including bioenergy production, the Government of Indonesia has launched an initiative to restore 14 million hectares of degraded land, including 2 million hectares of peatlands, by 2030. Here we present early findings on tamanu adaptability and tree growth (height, diameter and branches) on two types of degraded peatlands in Central Kalimantan. The paper reports peatland type and tamanu tree growth and adaptability in a 3-ha plantation trial plot over three years and a 2-ha plot over two years in Kalampangan and Buntoi villages. Results show survival rates of 82% in the plot on ombrogenous peat in Kalampangan and 81% on topogenous peat in Buntoi. Furthermore, the growth performance of 2-year-old tamanu trees on topogenous peat in Buntoi with an average height of 1.74 m and diameter of 3.97 cm at 5 cm above ground level and 15 branches was better than on ombrogenous peat in Kalampangan with an average height of 0.68 m and diameter of 1.43 cm at 5cm above ground level and five branches. While initial survival and tree growth results are promising, further monitoring of flowering and fruiting is necessary to determine tamanu’s viability for biodiesel production on degraded peatlands.
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    Growth performance of Calophyllum inophyllum at a bioenergy trial plot in Bukit Soeharto Research and Education Forest, East Kalimantan
    Leksono, B ; Sukartiningsih, ; Windyarini, E ; Adinugraha, HA ; Artati, Y ; Kwon, J ; Baral, H (IOP Publishing, 2021-05-17)
    Abstract The Indonesian government has committed to providing its entire population with energy through the National Energy Policy, which highlights the importance of diversification, environmental sustainability, and enhanced deployment of domestic energy resources. The contribution of new and renewable energy (NRE) to the nation’s energy supply is mandated to reach 23% by 2025, with bioenergy an important NRE alternative. If developed and deployed appropriately, bioenergy plantations have potential to restore degraded land and enhance biodiversity and environmental services while supporting rural livelihoods. As a potential biofuel tree species suited to the tropics, Calophyllum inophyllum (nyamplung) is being tested across wide-ranging degraded forest conditions in Indonesia. Nyamplung is a potential biodiesel alternative as it grows well in harsh environmental conditions, produces non-edible seed oil, has high amounts of kernel oil and fruits profusely. Here we report growth performance in a plantation trial plot established in February 2018, on previously burned land in Mulawarman University’s Bukit Soeharto Research and Educational Forest. Growth of this two-year-old plantation is strong compared to other Indonesian sites, with average survival rate above 90% on Ultisol soil, which is classified as low fertility and acidic. The findings reveal that different doses of fertilizer applications and slope gradient have no significant effects on growth performance. In addition, trees have already started to flower and fruit, and are colonized by bird species and insects, including bees and butterflies. The study indicates that nyamplung adapts well to different land and soil types. Bioenergy plantations on degraded land are a promising approach for land restoration, and enhance native biodiversity and environmental services while providing a source of renewable energy.
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    Using milk tanker pickup and weather data to quantify the impacts of heat stress on milk production in Australia
    Meyer, RS ; Graham, A-M ; Hepworth, G ; Eckard, RJ (Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand, 2021-12-16)
    Due to high metabolic heat production, dairy cows are more sensitive to heat stress than other livestock. This has consequences on the animal’s welfare and productivity. Reductions in milk production can occur from relatively mild temperatures with the degree of impact increasing with increasing severity of heat exposure. The degree to which heat stress impacts milk production, farm income, and milk supply is becoming increasingly important as the duration and frequency of heat waves increases. This analysis aims to provide estimates of the sensitivity of milk production on Australian dairy farms under heat stress situations. The milk tanker pickup data from three dairy companies was used to investigate the on-farm impacts of heat stress on milk production in three regions of Australia. Milk production and weather data were matched based on the postcode of the farm and Bureau of Meteorology weather station. Weather data were used to calculate the temperature-humidity index (THI) using a formula typically used in Australian studies. The THI is commonly used to quantify the effects of heat stress by combining the effects of temperature and relative humidity. Data that did not meet pre-defined quality criteria were eliminated from the analysis. For instance, records that occurred three or more days since the previous milk pickup, data from farms with less than one year of observations, and years in which more than 10 records were missing between October and April, inclusive, were excluded. Over 960,000 records from 1,286 farms are included in the regional analysis. Linear mixed effect models were fitted to the data from each of three regions using R. The estimated response of milk volume (L) and milk solids (kg) and associated 95% confidence intervals (CIs) are summarised in Table 1. Models using THI values averaged over 7-days, consistently performed better than those averaged over shorter periods. THI values based on minimum and average temperatures performed slightly, but consistently, better than those based on maximum temperature.
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    Towards a systems approach for river basin management-Lessons from Australia's largest river
    Thompson, RM ; Bond, N ; Poff, NL ; Byron, N (WILEY, 2019-06-01)
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    Assessment of environmental flow scenarios using state-and-transition models
    Bond, NR ; Grigg, N ; Roberts, J ; McGinness, H ; Nielsen, D ; O'Brien, M ; Overton, I ; Pollino, C ; Reid, JRW ; Stratford, D (WILEY, 2018-08-01)
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    Eliciting group judgements about replicability: A technical implementation of the IDEA Protocol
    Pearson, ER ; Fraser, H ; Bush, M ; Mody, F ; Widjaja, I ; Head, A ; Wilkinson, DP ; Wintle, B ; Sinnott, R ; Vesk, P ; Burgman, M ; Fidler, F (Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2021-01-01)
    In recent years there has been increased interest in replicating prior research. One of the biggest challenges to assessing replicability is the cost in resources and time that it takes to repeat studies. Thus there is an impetus to develop rapid elicitation protocols that can, in a practical manner, estimate the likelihood that research findings will successfully replicate. We employ a novel implementation of the IDEA ('Investigate', 'Discuss', 'Estimate' and 'Aggregate) protocol, realised through the repliCATS platform. The repliCATS platform is designed to scalably elicit expert opinion about replicability of social and behavioural science research. The IDEA protocol provides a structured methodology for eliciting judgements and reasoning from groups. This paper describes the repliCATS platform as a multi-user cloud-based software platform featuring (1) a technical implementation of the IDEA protocol for eliciting expert opinion on research replicability, (2) capture of consent and demographic data, (3) on-line training on replication concepts, and (4) exporting of completed judgements. The platform has, to date, evaluated 3432 social and behavioural science research claims from 637 participants.
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    Using local knowledge to identify drivers of historic native vegetation change
    Merritt, WS ; Duncan, D ; Kyle, G ; Race, D ; Anderssen, RS ; Braddock, RD ; Newham, LTH (Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand Inc, 2009-07-17)
    Research underway with three Catchment Management Authorities in Victoria (Goulburn Broken, North Central and North East) is examining the impacts these bodies have had, and could potentially have, on native vegetation extent and quality (condition) on private land. This paper outlines how local knowledge together with spatial data and ecological information is being used to develop Bayesian Networks (BNs) that show historic changes in native vegetation quality and extent in three regions of northern Victoria since the 1880's. The research is being focused on three case study areas, one located in each partner CMA (Figure 1). Comparison of aerial photography from 1946/7 with contemporary modelled tree canopy cover identified that native vegetation extent has increased or decreased to varying degrees over time and space in each case study areas. Local knowledge elicited from the regional workshops has identified the catalysts of change over time as including episodic events, the viability of the farming industry, demand for 'lifestyle' properties, rabbit control, NRM and Landcare initiatives and policy instruments. Changes in extent and quality of native vegetation varied spatially and temporally across the landscape depending on the presence of remnant native vegetation, land tenure, agronomic potential of the land, historic events (e.g. bushfires), characteristics of the local population and targeted policy instruments. Expansion and intensification of farming between the mid-1950s and the late 1970s was matched by a general decline in the extent of woody native vegetation on private land. A decline in farm profitability from the 1980s to 2006 was associated with declines in farm employment, the number of farmers, population, and businesses and services in small rural towns dependent on agriculture and increases in 'lifestyle' farming around rural towns and regional centres. A general increase in the extent of woody native vegetation on private land was noted over this period by workshop participants. BNs are being used to integrate local knowledge on historic land cover and vegetation change, and its drivers, with analysis of spatial data to capture changes in condition over time (60+ years). The regional workshops have been crucial in developing conceptual understanding of the relationships between external drivers (e.g. climate, market forces), actions (e.g. land clearing, de-stocking, revegetation) and outcomes (e.g. vegetation change). The knowledge and understanding of changes in land use and management and their drivers that was gained from the workshops have been used to refine the influence diagram for the historic vegetation extent and quality BNs, define the details of each variable (e.g. states, key assumptions) and identify key decades to represent in the models.
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    Riparian tree water use by eucalyptus coolabah in the Lake Eyre Basin
    Payne, EGI ; Costelloe, JF ; Woodrow, IE ; Irvine, EC ; Western, AW ; Herczeg, AL (Conference Organising Committee, 2006)
    The Lake Eyre Basin (LEB) is characterised by enormous stream flow variability, low rainfall, saline groundwater and at times saline surface water; conditions that demand flexible tree water use strategies in the riparian zone. In the lower reaches of the Diamantina River, the water sources and extraction patterns of Eucalyptus coolabah were examined using isotope data from xylem, soil water, groundwater and surface water. Additionally, soil chloride and matric potential data were used to infer zones of water availability for root uptake. It was found that despite their elevated salinity, groundwater and soil water formed a large proportion of the transpiration flux, with little contribution from standing pools of surface water. At two sites located on the dry floodplain, the data indicated E. coolabah relied substantially on groundwater with a salinity exceeding 30,000 mgL-1Cl. However, some dilution with fresher soil water was evident at most sites, highlighting the importance of flooding in replenishing soil water. Water extraction primarily occurred in the unsaturated zone where a compromise between salinity and source reliability was required. However, E. coolabah was found to have higher salinity tolerances than previously reported for Eucalyptus species.
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    Assessing the potential of hemp hurd (Cannabis sativa L.) for the production of environmentally friendly lightweight panels
    Fehrmann, J (The Industrial Hemp Western Australia Association Inc, 2020)
    Presentation prepared for the 2nd Australian Industrial Hemp Conference in Fremantle, WA from 25 -28 February 2020. Abstract and slides.
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    The grass is greener on the other side: understanding the effects of green spaces on Twitter user sentiments
    Lim, KH ; Lee, K ; Kendal, D ; Rashidi, L ; Naghi Zadeh Kakhki, E ; Winter, S ; Vasardani, M (ACM Press, 2018)
    Green spaces are believed to improve the well-being of users in urban areas. While there are urban research exploring the emotional benefits of green spaces, these works are based on user surveys and case studies, which are typically small in scale, intrusive, time-intensive and costly. In contrast to earlier works, we utilize a non-intrusive methodology to understand green space effects at large-scale and in greater detail, via digital traces left by Twitter users. Using this methodology, we perform an empirical study on the effects of green spaces on user sentiments and emotions in Melbourne, Australia and our main findings are: (i) tweets in green spaces evoke more positive and less negative emotions, compared to those in urban areas; (ii) each season affects various emotion types differently; (iii) there are interesting changes in sentiments based on the hour, day and month that a tweet was posted; and (iv) negative sentiments are typically associated with large transport infrastructures such as train interchanges, major road junctions and railway tracks. The novelty of our study is the combination of psychological theory, alongside data collection and analysis techniques on a large-scale Twitter dataset, which overcomes the limitations of traditional methods in urban research.