Research Focus




Site Resilience

Prof Ilaria Germishuizen

Prof Ilaria Germishuizen

Research Director

ICFR’s site resilience project aims to identify sites where soils are unable to sustain nutrient supply across successive rotations. This involves accelerated nutrient removal experiments and the development of a monitoring network measuring changes across rotations under existing management practices. The pillars of this project are five nutrient depletion trials, which were established to understand the risk of nutrient depletion associated with harvesting and residue management across key lithologies, as well as the ability of these sites to recover, once depleted. As part of the industry effort to monitor the long-term sustainability of its operations, a network of long-term soil monitoring plots is being established across the forestry landscape to benchmark the impact of multiple forestry rotations on soil nutrients. Thirty plots have been established to date, with about ten new plots added each year.

ICFR continues to play a pivotal role in the technical field aspects of this project and there is a strong analytical laboratory component relying on the ICFR analytical laboratory for both routine analyses and the development of novel technique to improve nutrient pool size estimates. It forms part of a PhD study on the long-term sustainability of commercial afforestation and the impact on water and nutrient resources.