There is no question that the timber industry needs to adopt sustainable practices that ensure a future for the industry. This book goes well beyond simply growing commercial tree plantations for wood production. It explores new forests that can supply environmental services such as salinity mitigation and carbon sequestration together with commercial wood production in an environment beyond the boundaries of traditional forestry.
New Forests targets agricultural landscapes affected by salinity and which generally have rainfall less than 650 mm per year. The book addresses vital issues such as where tree planting might best be pursued, what species and technologies should be used for establishment and later management, how productivity can be improved, what mix of environmental services and commercial goods is optimum, and whether the likely net benefits justify the change in land use and requisite investment.
While the book is focussed on the low-rainfall, agricultural, inland zone of the Murray-Darling Basin wherever possible the scope of most chapters has been expanded to synthesise generic information applicable to other regions in Australia and elsewhere.
The authors provide a comprehensive account of all the issues relevant to the development of these new forests, covering soils, the bio-physical environment, water use and irrigation strategies - including the use of wastewater, silviculture, pests and diseases, wood quality and products, and economics and policy implications.