Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Measuring nectar from eucalypts

02.08.2007
The effect of logging on canopy nectar production in tall forest trees has for the first time been investigated by NSW DPI researchers, with funding from the Honeybee Program of the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation and Forests NSW.

State forests provide the major honey resource for the beekeeping industry in NSW.

While Forests NSW has a number of management practices in place to retain nectar-producing trees during logging operations, there has been no information on how much nectar is produced by retained trees or young trees regrowing after logging.

Indeed, beekeepers have expressed concern about the effects of logging on nectar production, especially the perception that young trees do not produce as much nectar as mature trees.

The two eucalypt species chosen for research, Spotted Gum Corymbia maculata and Grey Ironbark Eucalyptus paniculata, are of prime importance to nectarfeeding wildlife, the timber industry and beekeepers.

Using cranes and cherry-pickers, flowers in forest canopies over 30 metres high on the NSW south coast were accessed. Nectar in flowers bagged overnight was measured to determine how much nectar they produce.

Both large and small trees were measured in forest with different logging histories: recently logged, regrowth and mature (more than 50 years since logging).

After measuring thousands of flowers, the study concluded that nectar production in Spotted Gum on a per flower basis was not affected by logging history nor tree size.

When the amount of nectar produced by whole forest stands is estimated on the basis of individual flower measurements and counts of flowers and trees, the study found that mature forest produced almost 10 times as much sugar per hectare as recently logged forest.

However, because current logging practices result in a mosaic landscape, where some areas are logged and others are left untouched, the impact is far less.

An estimate of nectar production at a ‘compartment’ scale found a recently logged compartment produced half the amount of nectar as a compartment of mature forest.

Most importantly, nectar was not a limited resource in 2005, when the research was undertaken, as extensive flowering was recorded across the south coast.

The study surveyed local beekeepers with questionnaires and found that honey yields in 2005 were extremely high: a typical 1000 hectares of spotted gum forest flowering from April-August yielded five tonnes of honey.

Honey productivity was found to be comparable across the three different logging histories: recently logged, regrowth and mature. But not every year is as good as 2005, with flowers measured in 2003 providing a strong contrast.

Few trees were in flower and nectarivores, especially birds and honeybees, left virtually no nectar behind by mid-morning.

Beekeepers reported that hive bees were not producing honey under these conditions.

Results for grey ironbark showed similarities to spotted gum with regard to the impact of logging, but the species differed markedly in other aspects of nectar production.

The results of this study will help promote sustainability by raising the awareness of forestry organisations about the importance of the nectar resource for native fauna and honeybees and that of beekeepers about current forest management.

Contact Brad Law, forest resources scientist, West Pennant Hills, 9872 0162 or bradl@sf.nsw.gov.au

Joanne Finlay | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nsw.gov.au

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Alkaline soil, sensible sensor
03.08.2017 | American Society of Agronomy

nachricht New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers
26.06.2017 | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Treating arthritis with algae

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Witnessing turbulent motion in the atmosphere of a distant star

23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>