||Technology in Australia 1788-1988
Table of Contents
I Management Of Native Forests
II Plantations-high Productivity Resources
i Exotic pines
ii Native species
III Protecting The Resource
IV Harvesting The Resource
V Solid Wood And Its Processing
VI Minor Forest Products
VII Reconstituted Wood Products
VIII Pulp And Paper
IX Export Woodchips
X Future Directions
The current outlook (continued)
Pine plantations have certainly increased Australia's self-sufficiency in forest products although this is now less widely accepted as a major national goal. The plantation area is still being expanded, with more emphasis being placed on planning to ensure compatibility between scale and location and the needs of the potential markets.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s strong opposition arose to the establishment of exotic pine plantations, largely because many had been established on land that had first to be cleared of native forest or scrub and the resultant loss of flora and fauna habitat and natural amenity was judged by some to far outweigh any economic and social benefits that might result. As a result greater use is now being made of former farmland and where some native vegetation might still be involved more of it is now preserved to retain some visual harmony and to provide corridors for fauna movement.
The question of the ability of plantations to sustain their productivity over successive rotations arose first in the 1950s, when measurements on second rotation in South Australia suggested decreases of up to 25 per cent. This caused concern for a time, but subsequent investigation, particularly that by Woods, showed that it could be largely prevented by appropriate weed control and fertilization and moreover, that continuing programs for genetic improvement could assist to maintain or even increase productivity. The importance of soil structure has also been emphasized, as has the conservation of organic matter and nutrients by the maceration and retention of litter and logging residues.
People in Bright Sparcs - Woods, R. V
© 1988 Print Edition page 205, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher