Forests in the landscape

We're developing strategies for keeping Australia's forests productive and healthy into the future, so that they continue to provide us with a range of products and services like timber, habitat and clean water. This research contributes to carbon sequestration and forest sustainability.

The Challenge

We need sustainable forests for the future

Forests play a dominant role in delivering many products and services upon which society depends, including clean water, biodiversity, carbon storage, social and amenity values and wood products. Our natural and planted forests are at risk from events like drought, heatwaves and fire.

There is growing pressure from consumers for wood products to be produced sustainably.

Our scientists are developing tools and models of how trees grow, forests function and the risks imposed especially by climate change and fire, so that our forests can be managed sustainably into the future.

Our Response

Our forest and landscape processes and risks research

We're leading the way in forest processes research in Australia, specialising in forest growth, health and responses to environment, and understanding and managing risks to forests, such as bushfires, pests and diseases and climate change.

Our skills in physiological ecology, biogeochemistry, forest management and bushfire science allow us to address questions such as:

  • sustainable forest production, and the environmental controls over forest growth including impacts of extreme (drought, high temperature) events and rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations
  • water uptake by forests and implications for forest management to control catchment water supplies; management of riparian zones with forests for control of water quality
  • carbon accounting in a range of planted and natural forests and management impacts; measurement of fire conditions on greenhouse gas emissions
  • growing and managing forests in developing countries for poverty alleviation, including genetic selection, nutritional management, sustaining the soil resource and impacts of management
  • predicting risk from bushfires, effectiveness of prescribed burning and suppression and emergency response; potential impacts of future climates and fire regimes on fuel loads and risk.

We undertake research across a range of spatial and temporal scales, from tissue to leaf/wood, to tree, forest and landscape, both within-years and across decades.

We embed knowledge of forest growth and carbon sequestration into models developed and maintained by the group, specifically 3-PG2 and Cabala, which are widely used around the world to improve management of planted forests. We are also national experts and developers of the Australian Government's FullCAM model, used for national carbon accounting.  We are developing the next generation of fire spread and behaviour models to improve fire preparedness and firefighting.


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