Forest resource improvement and establishment - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Forest resource improvement and establishment

The forest value chain relies on building and improving forest resources in both plantations and native forests. This includes managing plantations and native forests to maximise tree health, survival, productivity, sustainability, biodiversity and product options, optimally matching species to planted forests, breeding and selecting trees for improved productivity, enhanced value and product options including timber, veneer, biofuel/bioenergy and carbon end products. Understanding the physiological drivers of growth in native and planted forests to ensure long term sustainability if also a key focus of the group. Forest Resource Improvement and Establishment is an integral component of the forest value chain and collaborates with researchers in all other aspects of the value chain.

FIRC’s Forest Resource Improvement and Establishment Team provides expertise in all aspects of the forest resource area including: understanding the impact of management (eg thinning, pruning, revegetation and fire management) on plantation and native forest sustainability, biodiversity and production; matching of species and varieties to sites using a range of tools including traditional tree improvement, quantitative genetics, molecular genetics, propagation technologies and rapid screening technologies such as Near Infrared spectroscopy (NIR) to select varieties for deployment in commercial plantations. The group also has expertise in gene flow and genetic pollution issues across the tropics and subtropics.

Key partners for the group include staff from the University of the Sunshine Coast, CSIRO plant industry, Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Southern Cross University, Hancock Queensland Plantations, and the University of Tasmania.

Research Collaboration and Interchange

This project funds the joint appointment of a team of forest scientist to deliver quality research, development, extension and education outcomes relevant to the needs of Industry.

Lead Researchers:

  • Prof Mark Brown
  • Prof Simon Lawson
  • A/Prof David Lee
  • Dr Helen Nahrung
  • Dr Andrew Hayes
  • Dr Madaline Healey

Funding agency: Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Amount awarded: $1,074,432

Researchers looking out into the forest