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 Fighting a destructive crop disease with mathematics
21.06.2017 | University of Cambridge

nachricht Unusual soybean coloration sheds a light on gene silencing
20.06.2017 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

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: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>