Evaluating and modelling radiata pine wood quality in the Murray valley region (PNC325-1314)
There is increasing pressure to boost plantation productivity in radiata pine. It is critical, however, where gains are achieved, that wood quality is maintained. The main options available to forest managers to increase productivity are genetic improvement and silvicultural adjustments, but they still lack tools by which to understand potential quality implications, particularly of the latter. At the same time, processors are recognising the enormous importance of understanding and managing the variability in the incoming timber resource to optimise their operations.
To this end, a new model (eCambium) was developed in an FWPA-funded project to predict wood properties and stand growth and productivity from inputs of weather data, site characteristics and silviculture. However, despite the success of the model to date, it has not been widely tested outside a relatively limited range of site types and conditions.
Furthermore, the existing software was designed as a prototype for industry testing, and a number of enhancements are needed to make the software sufficiently powerful and useful as an operational decision support tool (DST).
This project (PNC325-1314) was designed to robustly test and enhance eCambium in the context of a comprehensive assessment of P. radiata resource quality in the Murray Valley region, one of the largest areas of softwood plantations in Australia.
The key objective being to test eCambium predictions, at multiple scales, based on detailed measurements of wood properties within the context of a comprehensive assessment of radiata pine resource quality in the Murray Valley region.