Postgraduate Profiles

Shes Kanta Bhandari

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Thesis: Modelling growth, water use/yield, stream flow and thinning effect in Eucalyptus marginata

The growth habit of trees differ, based on species and local environment, including competition from neighbors in terms of light, moisture, nutrients etc. The degree and magnitude of competition also differs according to stand density and site productivity. Therefore, a growth model developed for one species of tree at one site cannot be replicated to another species at another site. Even the growth model of the same species from another site might not be effective to predict growth. Because of these reasons, a growth model for a specific species and site are required for prediction of forest growth and sustainable management. Therefore, this study aims to develop an individual based model and parameterize it for Jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) and Karri (Eucalyptus diversicolor), to analyse water use, stream flow and water yield, to measure the effect of thinning and stand density on growth of Eucalyptus marginata and Eucalyptus diversicolor, and to simulate the growth of Jarrah / Kari based on thinning, fertilizer, water use/availability and climate change. This study will use the Inglehope thinning trial and Sutton thinning trial of Western Australia. The permanent sample plots were established in the 1970s and measurement are carried out at different time intervals. A large proportion of data for this study will be used from those permanent sample plots (already collected) and supplementary data will be collected in 2018/2019. Individual based modelling approach with consideration of distance from subject tree to neighbor tree will be used to determine the impact of competition on the growth of trees. The outcome of this study will be useful for designing appropriate forest management strategies and to regulate the flow from streams that pass through the Eucalyptus marginata and Eucalyptus diversicolor forest.

Why my research is important

The Jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) and Karri (Eucalyptus diversicolor) are the important timber species of Western Australia. The sustainable management of these species can provide substantial benefit in the form of timber, habitat for wildlife, soil conservation, carbon sink etc. Despite of the huge importance of these species, little has been achieved. Forest managers need reliable information about tree growth and species composition to draft appropriate guidelines and policies of forest management and conservation. Individual based modelling (IBM) can provide detailed and reliable information that will support the design of a new forest management system, or continuation of the existing forest management system with modifications. The accurate prediction of forest growth and yield will provide the information required for planning and implementation of new forest business.

Funding

Permanent sample plot of Eucalyptus marginata

Oct 2017

Sep 2020

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