Webinar series: Scion’s research into soil-plant-microbe interactions

This webinar series highlights Scion's research into soil-plant-microbe interactions. Scion’s research in this area has underpinned recent advances in nutrient management in New Zealand Radiata pine forests, and has also provided a new capability to manage the activity of beneficial soil bacteria and mycorrhiza in nursery and forest settings.

The webinars are presented by Simeon Smaill, a Senior Scientist in the Forest System Group at Scion. Simeon led much of this research over the last decade, exploring various aspects of soil-plant-microbe interactions, concentrating on applied outcomes that enable improvements to tree health and performance.

Session 1: introduction to the research – Friday 12 June – 11-11:30am AEST / 10:30-11am SA, NT / 9-9:30am WA

In this session Simeon will provide a background to his work, discuss the implementation of microbial research into forest and nursery management, and summarise some of the applied outcomes that have been created.

Click here to view slides.

Session 2: Outcomes for nurseries - Friday 19 June – 11-11:45am AEST / 10:30-11:15am SA, NT / 9-9:45am WA

This webinar will focus on research projects that have explored the potential to reduce chemical use in radiata pine nurseries by increasing the benefits derived from mycorrhiza and the targeted use of biostimulants. Trials at operational scales in commercial nurseries have proven successful over several years, and field trials using this stock have resulted in significant gains in productivity for up to eight years after forest establishment.

Click here to view slides.

Session 3: Enhancing plant stress tolerance with benefice soil bacteria - Friday 26 June – 11-11:45am AEST / 10:30-11:15am SA, NT / 9-9:45am WA

Simeon will describe the results of various trials designed to increase the stress tolerance of radiata pine by enhancing the abundance of plant growth promoting bacteria. Certain soil bacteria have the capacity to alter plant stress responses by manipulating plant biochemistry, allowing the plant to better tolerate adverse conditions. Trials with radiata pine have shown that different genotypes are able to attract these bacteria, and treatments have also been developed that act to increase the abundance of these bacteria, resulting in significant growth gains in difficult environments.

Click here to view slides.

Webinar: Production Forest Methodologies for the Emissions Reduction Fund

Presented By Dr Hilary Smith, Latitude Forest Services, Dr Fabiano Ximenes, NSW Department Of Primary Industries (Wednesday 5th June 2019)

This presentation reports the results of a recently published  FWPA funded project entitled Production Forest Methodologies for the Emissions Reduction Fund (PNC354-1415). 

The project sought to capture opportunities under ERF for forest managers and wood processors in both the native forest and plantation sectors through the development of a suite of GHG reduction methodologies including through: 

  1. Carbon sequestration in long-rotation plantations;
  2. Carbon sequestration through the retention of plantations established on economically marginal sites which are under threat of conversion into agricultural lands;
  3. Carbon storage in harvested wood products (HWPs);
  4. Use of biomass from forest harvest operations and wood processing facilities to generate bioenergy;
  5.  Increasing carbon stocks in forests through enhanced forest management; and
  6. Reduced emissions through bushfire prevention.

View PowerPoint Presenation here

View full report here


Webinar: ABARES Draft Work Plan 2018-2022

ABARES produce the national Forest and Wood Product Statistics each 6 months and undertake a number of ongoing longer terms research projects such as the annual Gross Value of Production survey which determines the annual quantity, value and grade of logs harvested. Other activities include the national plantation inventory and periodic mill surveys. This range of work means ABARES has strengths in data gathering, analysis and modelling.

In recent years to take advantage of those strengths the FWPA has entered into a contract with ABARES to continue to deliver projects of value to industry. This covers a contribution to ABARES “business as usual” activities which supports industry and government decision making. In addition funding has been provided for additional projects of specific benefit to industry.

To consider projects to be included in a new contract between ABARES and the FWPA on behalf of industry for the period 2018 to 2022 a draft work plan has been developed.

An industry consultation process has been undertaken to determine program priorities based on the draft paper. The webinar provides an overview of the program achievements to date and an outline of the projects currently under consideration in the new contract.

View full draft work program here

View PowerPoint Presentation

Webinar: Reducing costs in the wood supply chain through controlling the moisture content of logs and chips

This presentation, of a recently published FWPA funded study, investigated the reduction in the costs in the supply chain by controlling moisture content of logs and chips (including woody biomass) through infield drying prior to transport.  (PNC336-1314). 

Log drying data was  collected from small log piles (5-8 tonnes) of E. globulus chip logs, and P. radiata chip and residue logs stored at the WAPRES Diamond mill in Manjimup, Western Australia for two periods in 2014. 

Small numbers of individual logs were also stored to compare the moisture content of individual logs to that of the log piles. A Hitman HM200 was used to test log pile logs and individual logs to test its possible use as a tool to estimate log pile moisture content. 

The outcomes of the project were:

1) models to predict the moisture content of stacks of radiata pine or blue gum logs stored at roadside using meteorological data and acoustic velocity; and 

2) a software application incorporating the models to distribute the project results to industry. 

This project was the initial step in the research required to enable the Australia forest industry to gain the benefits from infield log drying while minimising potential issues. 

Martin Strandgard is a Senior Research Fellow, AFORA, with the Forest Industries Research Centre at the University of the Sunshine Coast. 

See Powerpoint Presentation

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Costs and benefits of forest biosecurity

Wednesday 6 September, Presented by Dr Angus Carnegie, NSW Department of Primary Industries

This talk is one of a series arising from a recent FWPA funded study that has attempted to quantify the costs and benefits of forest biosecurity using case-studies (PNC362-1415). 

Australia’s forest and wood products industry faces a significant challenge in mitigating biosecurity threats to plantation forest productivity. 

This project seeks to clarify the nature of established and new biosecurity threats and the costs and benefits of mitigating their impact under a range of scenarios using a series of cost-benefit analysis case studies.  

This presentation will focus on the first two chapters of this report:

  1.  The risk of exotic pests to the Australian forest industry  and;
  2.  Benchmarking forest health surveillance and biosecurity activities for managing Australia’s exotic forest pest and pathogen risks. 

In the broader project the nature of established and new biosecurity threats are clarified in this report and the costs and benefits of their management evaluated under a range of scenarios and three case studies (Japanese Pine sawyer beetle, Sirex wood wasp and Chrysomelid beetles). 

Dr Angus Carnegie is  a Senior Research Scientist in DPI’s Science & Research Division. He leads the Forest Health Survey Unit within Forest Health Management, Forest Resources Research. The FHSU conducts annual surveys of pine and eucalypt plantations managed by Forestry Corporation and provides recommendations on pest, disease and general forest health management. 

View the PowerPoint presentation here


Webinar: Remote sensing of land-use-specific actual evapotranspiration of entire catchments containing plantations

Presented by Dr Tim McVicar, CSIRO Land and Water on Wednesday 28 June

This presentation will report on the completion of the FWPA co-funded project entitled Remote sensing of land-use-specific actual evapotranspiration of entire catchments containing plantations (PNC286-1112).  

Being able to accurately measure how much water is used by all land-uses, including plantations, is vital for the forest industry to lead an ‘evidence-based’ informed debate about forestry water use. 

Such research can help state and federal regulators to understand the nuances and complexities of ‘normal’ water use across catchments containing multiple land-uses.

In this FWPA co-funded project, researchers from CSIRO determined water-usage across two large study sites that include forestry plantations in NSW and the Green Triangle region of Victoria and South Australia. The researchers “blended” low frequency/high resolution Landsat data with high frequency/low resolution MODIS data. 

The “blended” high frequency/high resolution satellite data was used as input to an algorithm that accurately estimated actual evapotranspiration (AET) across the study sites for all land-uses.

Tim leads the Time Series Remote Sensing team within the Environmental Earth Observation group of the Environmental Sensing, Prediction and Reporting theme of CSIRO Land and Water. 

He is a spatial eco-hydrologist with over 19 years research experience in the use of time series remote sensing linked with spatio-temporal interpolation methods and analysis technologies to model and monitor regional eco-hydrological processes. 

See PowerPoint presentation



Discovery and application of DNA markers for resistance to Teratosphaeria in E. globulus

This presentation reports on the completion of the FWPA funded project Discovery and application of DNA markers for resistance to Terato-sphaeria in E. globulus (PNC363-1415). 

The incidence of the fungal infection Teratosphaeria leaf disease (TLD) has increased, in Blue gum plantations due to trees being of uniform age and having a reduced genetic diversity. As resistance to TLD has moderate to strong genetic component in Blue gums, selecting trees with the most resistant genes has an important economic advantage for tree breeders and growers. 

The project was delivered by Gondwana Genomics who worked closely with industry participants to identify markers significantly associated with TLD resistance.  Methods for application of Marker-assisted selection (MAS) in breeding populations were tested. 

This webinar will discuss the findings of the study. 

Bala is a molecular geneticist who is passionate about application of molecular markers in practical breeding to improve the efficiency of traditional breeding. Currently he is the principal scientist at Gondwana Genomics, a start-up company delivering DNA marker based solutions for forest tree breeding community. 

Previously he worked at CSIRO for 13 years where he pioneered the development of DNA marker based solutions for application in tree breeding. 

See PowerPoint Presentation Here

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Webinar: Costs and benefits of forest biosecurity: Case study 1 – Eucalyptus leaf beetle as the example of an established defoliating pest.

This talk is one of a series arising from a recent FWPA funded study that has attempted to quantify the costs and benefits of forest biosecurity using case-studies (PNC362-1415).

This case-study involves Eucalyptus leaf beetle as the example of an established pest that defoliates plantations. 

The Eucalyptus leaf beetle is one of the best-studied pests of Australian plantation eucalypts. The talk will present the results of a comprehensive analysis of the costs of research by Forestry Tasmania to develop the leaf beetle integrated pest management (IPM); costs of applying the IPM operationally across Forestry Tasmania's eucalypt plantation estate; and benefits of the applied IPM in terms of averted growth losses. 

Finally, the talk will examine the overall economic benefit of the research and use of the IPM to inform future decisions on investments to manage an established plantation pest. 

Dr Tim Wardlaw is Principal Scientist in Forestry Tasmania’s Forest Management Services Branch. For much of the past 17 years he led a small group of scientists and technical staff covering the fields of forest entomology and pathology, conservation biology and forest health surveillance. Tim's career in forest health management spans 39 years - all at Forestry Tasmania and it's predecessor organisation - Forestry Commission. While his formal training is in forest pathology, he has a broader interest in general forest health management. Understanding the impacts of pests and diseases and the cost-effectiveness of their management has been a particular passion. 

The work covered in this presentation was triggered following a major review Tim did of Forest Tasmania's leaf beetle integrated pest management program in 2011. 

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Enabling Prefabricated Timber Building Systems in Commercial Construction

Wednesday 15 March , 11am -12 noon  (AEDT)

presented by  Dr David Bylund,  Program Development Manager, Wood Solutions Mid-rise Advisory Program  WoodSolutions.  

This presentation  reported on the completion of  the FWPA funded project  Enabling Prefabricated Timber Building Systems in Commercial Construction (PNA324-1314).

The project, delivered via the University of Tasmania’s CSAW group, identifies drivers for and barriers to the increased use of prefabricated timber building systems in Class 2 to 9 commercial buildings.

This webinar discussed the findings of the study including perceived and real barriers to the uptake of existing and new prefabricated timber building systems. 

David Bylund is an architect and a passionate advocate of timber’s capacity to build tomorrow’s buildings better through the creation of quality, sustainable living and working environments.  He is currently employed as one of Program Development Managers for mid-rise timber construction in Forest Wood Products Australia’s (FWPA) WoodSolutions program. 

Prior to this, he was a Research Fellow at the University of Tasmania in the School of Architecture and Design’s Centre for Sustainable Architecture in Wood (CSAW) where he was the lead researcher for this project.

He has a PhD from the University of Western Australia, funded by a Post Graduate Scholarship from FWPA where he researched Scandinavian prefabrication techniques and their application in Australia, and he is also a registered architect in Western Australia. 

View PowerPoint Here

View Final Report 


ProFert – a new tool to maximise financial returns from fertiliser use

This presentation will report on the completion of  the FWPA project  ProFert-Pine - A fertiliser tool for softwood plantations in southern Australia.  

Developed by TreeMod, in collaboration with a  consortium of forest growers, to provide greater efficiencies in fertilizer use in  plantations.  Using results from over two decades of research by softwood growers across south eastern Australia, ProFert predicts end of rotation growth responses to N, P, K and S fertiliser and optimizes treatments to maximize financial return.

This webinar will introduce potential users to the tools easy-to-use interface and powerful underlying functionality.

Dr May is the director of the forestry and carbon consultancy TreeMod.  He has over 20 years’ experience working with forest managers and wood processors across Australia and overseas to improve nutrition and management, model growth and carbon dynamics and develop renewable energy options.  His other recent projects include the development of carbon calculators to be used with Federal Government carbon abatement methodologies, estimation of carbon sequestration by tree plantings, and surveying waste biomass from forest, agricultural and processing industries.

View PowerPoint Presentation Here.