School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences - Research Publications

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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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    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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    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.
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    Trees provide energy saving benefits to adjacent buildings for a small water cost
    Livesley, SJ ; Aye, L ; Hes, D ; DAWKINS, A ; LHENDUP, T ; CAFFIN, M ; Williams, NS (Australian Sustainable Cities and Regions Network, 2011)
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    Furniture Production Efficiency in the Indonesian Context
    Prasetyo, V ; Belleville, B ; Ozarska, B (International Conference on Wood Science and Technology, 2018-10-16)
    Most efficiency improvement strategies implemented in furniture manufacturing are data-driven methods. Due to a lack of production systems used in most Indonesian small and medium-sized furniture companies, the evaluation of production efficiency for future improvement seems rather difficult to perform. A wide range of existing evaluation tools and the varying capabilities of the companies to adapt the methods contribute to a problematic evaluation process. Research has been undertaken with the aim to develop a generic efficiency evaluation method and to prioritise a new potential metric to assess and control efficiency in furniture manufacturing. A basic production cost analysis with standardized variables has been demonstrated as a typical method to evaluate production efficiency in multi furniture companies, followed by applying a wood recovery assessment, a Pareto analysis, an X-Y matrix, and process capability analysis. The heartwood proportion of teak (Tectona grandis) has been determined as a key potential efficiency metric to control and monitor teak sawn board quality and its utilisation. Applying process capability analysis with a setting of lower specification limits to the population of teak heartwood rates produces a model to simulate optimal teak utilisation.
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    Achieving Long-Term Adhesion and Bondline Durability with difficult-to-bond Australian Hardwoods Species
    LI, S ; Belleville, B ; Gutowski, M ; Kuys, B ; Ozarska, B (Society of Wood Science and Technology, 2018-07-25)
    Australia has unique resources of native hardwoods producing a range of aesthetically and structurally attractive timbers suitable for high-strength structural applications and other products for internal and external applications. Amongst problems limiting broader hardwoods applications is their excessive susceptibility to hydrothermal movements in response to changes in the atmospheric moisture. This, in turn, produces excessive interfacial stresses between hardwood surface and glues, resulting in fast degradation of adhesion in products exposed to weathering. A range of Australian hardwood species also suffers from poor adhesion due to high bulk phenolic and surface lipophilic extractive content as well as high density. Research has been undertaken with the aim to improve the performance, durability, and designs flexibility of hardwood-based components for outdoor and indoor applications. The method relies on the application of eco-sustainable water-based formulations of functional polymer and chemical additives overcoming the impact of extractives and facilitating chemical bonding of designated connector chains to cellulose constituents. To date, results of adhesion bonding tests have demonstrated a significant increase in shear strength, wood failure, and durability compared to unmodified samples of Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Eucalyptus pilularis, and Eucalyptus regnans. The results could potentially facilitate the effective transformation of the housing and construction industry by targeting drastically increased use of hardwoods by the rapidly developing Australian prefabricated housing and construction industry.
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    Emergent landscapes: exploring social-ecological interdisciplinarity
    Bartel, S ; Bohnet, I ; Brockett, B ; Browne, A ; Connelly, A ; Goldstein, B ; Grover, S ; Judith, K ; Lebel, L ; Lebel, P ; Miller, G ; Nelson, R ; Primdahl, J ; Kristensen, L ; Paschen, J ; Reichelt, N ; Sherren, K ; Spicer, A ; Swaffield, S ; Moore, K ; von Heland, J ; Carter, J ; Ellis, M ; Hincks, S ; Handley, J ; Frankel-Goldwater, L ; Osborne-Gowey, J ; Risien, J ; Schwizer, S ; Rawluk, A ; Beilin, R ; Bender, H (School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences, University of Melbourne, 2018)
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    The Response of Silver Beet to Microwave Generated Biochar
    Brodie, G ; Kaudal, B ; Aponte, C ; poisant, M (International Microwave Po, 2017-06-23)