Sediment and wood dynamics in ephemeral headwater channels managed for timber production in NSW

Timber production in the coastal forests of New South Wales, Australia, occurs predominately in small headwater drainage basins. It is anticipated that as the worldwide demand for high quality sawn timber increases, there will be increasing pressure to extract sawlogs from within current harvest exclusion zones. To predict the effects of timber harvesting on sediment and wood dynamics in these headwater systems, and the potential downstream effects, there is a need to better understand the processes and rates of sediment and wood accumulation and their transfer to higher order streams.

In this seminar the results from a 7-year paired catchment hydrological study on the effects of timber harvesting in buffer strips on water quality, suspended sediment yield, and large wood recruitment along ephemeral headwater channels in a forest on the south coast of NSW will be presented. Results from model simulations of the effects of in-channel large wood obstructions on channel erosion, sediment storage, and yield will also be presented.

About the speaker

Peter received his Bachelor of Science majoring in geomorphology from Macquarie University in 1997, and was awarded the 300 level Physical Geography Prize. He was awarded his Masters Degree (Research) in Soil Science from Macquarie University in 2003. While undertaking his postgraduate degree, he joined the Forest Research and Development Division in State Forests of NSW in 1999, and for the next 6 years worked on native forest soil erosion, mine site rehabilitation, forest carbon sequestration, and dryland salinity. In 2005 he took up the position of Soil Specialist with Forests NSW on the south coast of NSW, and began his PhD (part-time) with ANU in 2009. In 2010 his position was transferred to Coffs Harbour on the north coast of NSW, where he continues to work today as the Soil and Water Specialist for Forestry Corporation NSW. He is a member of the Australian Society of Soil Science and the International Association of Hydrological Sciences.