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Potential for irrigated tropical forestry in northern Western Australia

Radomiljac, A.M., Shea, S.R., McKinnell, F.H. and McComb, J.A. (1998) Potential for irrigated tropical forestry in northern Western Australia. Australian Forestry, 61 (2). pp. 70-75.

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Several high value exotic tropical timber trees have been screened in irrigated species selection experiments, on both predominant soil types (the Cununurra clay and Cockatoo sand), as potential plantation species for the Ord River Irrigation Area (ORIA), northern Western Australia, over the past ten years. Santalum album (Indian sandalwood) has demonstrated potential as a plantation species on the flood irrigated Cununurra clay sites. S. album, a root hemi-parasite, requires a range of host species over its entire rotation length. Consequently, a relatively complex multi-species plantation system has been developed to maintain high plantation productivity. Wood quality issues, plantation policy and environmental implications of irrigated ORIA S. album plantations are also discussed. Damage from Mastotermes darwiniensis prevents long term survival of S. album and many other hardwoods on light textured soils in the region. The re-investigation into the reforestation of these soils has commenced with a range of previously untested species. The early performance of a species selection experiment on a trickle irrigated Cockatoo sand site is presented. At seven months of age Tectona grandis (teak), Pterocarpus macrocarpus (Burma padauk) and Khaya senegalenesis (African mahogany) exhibit good survival and growth.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Publisher: Institute of Foresters of Australia Inc.
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