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News

New software model to help plantation industry

CSIRO : 07 October, 2006  (New Product)
Ensis has developed a software model called CABALA that will help managers make better plantation management decisions. Ensis, the joint venture between CSIRO and Scion, has developed a software model called CABALA that will help managers make better plantation management decisions.



This comprehensive model has been developed over six years in partnership with the CRC Sustainable Production Forestry and is now being used by over three-quarters of the blue gum growers in temperate Australia.

Chairman of Commercial Plantations WA, Gavin Ellis, says: 'CABALA has proved a very valuable part of the decision-making process. It allows an insight into plantation performance in new regions where actual plantation performance data may be minimal or non-existent'.

Using daily climate information along with tree growth modelling and forest health information, CABALA can make predictions to help with decision-making on issues such as plantation site establishment, rotation length, optimum wood and fibre production and the production of non-traditional forest products such as carbon and salinity credits.

Ensis scientist Dr Michael Battaglia says: “By understanding trees’ basic building blocks, such as photosynthesis and nutrient cycles, risks like drought can be better understood.

CABALA will help managers make better plantation management decisions.'If you want to optimise the selection and management of trees, you need to have a system that responds to all parts of a tree’s world. So we’ve tried to understand the broad way that trees grow and respond to their environment and incorporated this into an easy-to-use modelling system.'

According to Ensis Forests general manager Dr Clive Carlyle: 'Being able to situate a plantation for maximum benefit with minimum disruption to the environment is essential for a sustainable forest and plantation industry.

'Generalisations are impossible due to different regions, soil types, water availability and tree species, so it is very exciting that we now have a system that can, and is, being used by our industry and environmental managers to help with their important decisions.'
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