National spotlight on USC forestry research

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National spotlight on USC forestry research

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Published on 9 October 2012

The impacts of insect borers on the local region’s hardwood plantations and the importance of two locally grown gum tree species to the global forestry industry will be outlined by University of the Sunshine Coast researchers at a national conference in Gympie next week.

Three USC academics will share their research with up to 350 visitors from across Australia at the biannual Australian Forest Growers Conference to be held at the Gympie Civic Centre from 14-17 October.

USC GeneCology Research Group project officer Kathy Wood said the conference would provide a national forum for the University to showcase its cutting-edge research and facilities.

“The forestry industry is very important to our region and USC is leading the way in subtropical forest science and now forest operations,” she said.

USC’s Associate Professor David Lee, an expert on subtropical tree genetics, will discuss two locally-grown Corymbia species, lemon-scented gum and spotted gum.

“These species are increasing in importance to plantation forestry across the world because they are suitable to many environments, have high growth rates and produce a high quality, durable timber,” Dr Lee said.

Dr Helen Nahrung, a USC Collaborative Research Network Research Fellow who specialises in the study of insects, will outline the impacts of insect borers such as longicorn beetles and cossid moths on the region’s hardwood plantations.

“Defects in hardwoods caused by borers can reduce solid wood value by up to 90 per cent”, Dr Nahrung said.

USC Professor of Forestry Operations Mark Brown will discuss how to maximise the value achieved from the harvesting of forest timber.

Julie Schomberg

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