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Drought proofing our plantation estate: improved methods to efficiently manage water stress & productivity under a drying climate

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Project Details

Project Code:PNC588-2223
Project Start Date:28-Jul-22
Completion Date:30-May-25

Climate models predict a hotter and dryer climate for SE Australia. The Millenium Drought was an indicator of such conditions, and saw loss of productivity and mortality across both native forest and plantations, principally due to water availability. We need improved understanding of how to manage water scarcity, and to maintain the social licence in a water limited future.

The key question proposed is “How can stand productivity and survival be managed and maximised under extreme soil water deficits?”, centred on Pinus radiata.

The project has three principal deliverables:
1. Model parameter sets and calibrations that can be used by the industry to model their estates
2. Guidelines for stand density and fertilisation rates distilled from the model and experimental results
3. Technical reports for industry/agency use in evaluating the “social licence” to operate in various


Priority identified since publication of investment plans (P.I.P)

Research Organisation

University of Melbourne

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