Predicting the water-use of Eucalyptus nitens plantations in Tasmania using a Forest Estate Model
In regions where water resources are limited, regulations and policy have been developed to preserve water resources. These regulations may limit plantation development or make it more expensive.
This research project developed a tool to assess plantation water-use during the wood-flow planning process. Forestry Tasmania’s Forest Estate Model (FEM) was identified as a tool that could be developed for water management.
The FEM was used to generate estimates of water-use, the wood volume available to cut, and standing basal area for 1532 ha of E. nitens plantation in the Florentine Valley over a 90 year period. The FEM showed that managing plantations to produce smooth water-use and smooth wood production is compatible—managing for one produces the other.
The methods used to measure water-use and build the empirical water-use model are readily transferable to other plantation species and native forests.