Title

Firewood harvest from forests of the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia. Part 2: plantation resource required to supply present demand

Document Type

Article

Publication details

West, PW, Cawsey, EM, Stol, J & Freudenberger, D 2008, 'Firewood harvest from forests of the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia. Part 2: plantation resource required to supply present demand', Biomass and Bioenergy, vol. 32, no. 12, pp. 1206-1219.

Published version available from:

http://doi.org/10.1016/j.biombioe.2008.02.018

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

The Murray-Darling Basin covers 1 M km 2 and occupies most of inland, south-eastern, mainland Australia. Large areas have been cleared and are now used for agriculture. In this paper, estimates are made of the minimum area of Eucalyptus globulus plantation forests needed to be established in the Basin to supply 2.25 M oven-dry t yr -1 of firewood annually, the amount of firewood harvested presently from the native forests which remain in the Basin. If plantations were established in higher rainfall areas along the eastern and southern boundaries of the Basin, it was estimated that a minimum of just over 200,000 ha of plantations would be required, grown on a 10-yr rotation. If plantations were restricted to less productive areas of lower rainfall (-1), or to areas where land clearing for agriculture has been particularly intensive, a minimum of just under 350,000 ha would be required, grown on an 11-yr rotation. If planting was restricted to soils in the Basin at high risk of salinisation from agriculture, which are generally in areas of lower rainfall, a minimum of about 600,000 ha would be required, grown on a 20-yr rotation. It is considered that the practicalities of plantation establishment in the Basin would require appreciably larger areas of plantations than these minima.