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The CSIRO Rainforest Permanent Plots of North Queensland:
Site, Structural, Floristic and Edaphic Descriptions
Compiled and Edited by Andrew W. Graham
ISBN 0 86443 768 4
Between 1971 and 1980, twenty research plots were established in the rainforests of northeastern Australia to provide long-term ecological and growth data. Plot sites were located opportunistically, with most being unlogged and undisturbed by European activities. Eight plots were variously affected by cyclones after establishment. Radiocarbon dating of soil charcoal indicated that fires occurred on five sites since 2000 BP. In early 2006, prior to the passage of Cyclones Larry and Monica, all plots were accessible with data records spanning periods of 24 to 31 years.
Most plots (seventeen) were located between 145° 04' E to 145° 50' E and 16° 08' S to 18° 30' S in a wide range of annual rainfall settings from 1400 mm to >3000 mm. Twelve plots were located above 700 m altitude. Only five plots were located on soils of high or moderately high fertility.
At plot establishment, all trees with stems greater than or equal to 10 cm diameter were positioned, identified and measured for diameter and height. Semi-quantitative data on understorey species composition within subplots were also collected. Plots were remeasured every two years for the first ten years, and then at three or four yearly intervals, with diameter, recruits and deaths recorded. Heights generally were remeasured only in 1998.
To assist with future
analyses and interpretation of the plot data, this report presents descriptions
of the biophysical settings, disturbance histories, structures, physiognomies
and floristic compositions of the plots using information compiled from
all available sources and limited new sampling programs. Inconsistencies
with previous descriptions are noted where appropriate. Descriptions
of landforms and soil profiles are supplemented with quantitative data
on soil bulk density, particle size, soil moisture characteristics and
chemical analyses, together with methodological details. Illustrations
show plot locations, key site features and forest profiles. As detailed
analyses will be presented elsewhere, this review gives only a general
data summary for stem density (plot range 408 to 1170 stems per hectare)
and basal area (plot range 28.6 to 69.8 square metres per hectare).
Plant species richness on the plots varied from 84 to 189.
See below left to
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