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GIS-based tools for management of pine plantations, Queensland, Australia

Preda, M. and Bubb, K.A. and Cox, M.E. (2007) GIS-based tools for management of pine plantations, Queensland, Australia. Australian Forestry, 70 (1). pp. 61-69.

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Publisher URL: http://www.forestry.org.au/default.asp

Abstract

Two examples of GIS-based multiple-criteria evaluations of plantation forests are presented. These desktop assessments use available topographical, geological and pedological information to establish the risk of occurrence of certain environmentally detrimental processes. The first case study is concerned with the risk that chemical additives (i.e. simazine) applied within the forestry landscape may reach the drainage system. The second case study assesses the vulnerability of forested areas to landslides. The subject of the first multiple-criteria evaluation (MCE) was a 4 km2 logging area, which had been recently site-prepared for a Pinus plantation. The criteria considered relevant to the assessment were proximity to creeks, slope, soil depth to the restrictive layer (i.e. potential depth to a perched water table) and soil erodability (based on clay content). The output of the MCE was in accordance with field observations, showing that this approach has the potential to provide management support by highlighting areas vulnerable to waterlogging, which in turn can trigger overland flow and export of pollutants to the local stream network. The subject of the second evaluation was an Araucaria plantation which is prone to landslips during heavy rain. The parameters included in the assessment were drainage system, the slope of the terrain and geological features such as rocks and structures. A good correlation between the MCE results and field observations was found, suggesting that this GIS approach is useful for the assessment of natural hazards. Multiple-criteria evaluations are highly flexible as they can be designed in either vector or raster format, depending on the type of available data. Although tested on specific areas, the MCEs presented here can be easily used elsewhere and assist both management intervention and the protection of the adjacent environment by assessing the vulnerability of the forest landscape to either introduced chemicals or natural hazards.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:© Institute of Foresters of Australia.
Keywords:Assessment; decision making; evaluation; forest management; geographical information systems; landscape; risk; spatial variation.
Subjects:Technology > Technology (General)
Forestry > Conservation and protection
Forestry > Tools and implements
Deposited On:20 Jan 2009 02:46
Last Modified:28 Sep 2010 23:15

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