Clonal, species and silvicultural Eucalypt and Acacia trials for Melville Island

Clonal, species and silvicultural Eucalypt and Acacia trials for Melville Island


  • Client: Silvatech Ltd
  • Scope:

    Design and establishment of Acacia and eucalypt trials for Melville Island in Australia's Northern Territory including:

    • species, silvicultural and clonal trial design
    • trial establishment
    • trial measurement, analysis and evaluation
    • sourcing of improved forestry germplasm
    • development of ongoing species trial program
    • management of commercial Acacia tissue culture deflasking program
  • Challenge:

    Greenfield Acacia plantation establishment on the Tiwi Islands required a strategy to introduce the highest pulp yield germplasm in order to maximise plantation returns. Based on prior trials throughout south-east Asia, the yield potential of different germplasm sources of Acacia was shown to vary over three-fold, from less than 20m3/ha/yr to over 60m3/ha/yr. Performance of alternative germplasm sources had not been carried out in the target environment.

  • Solution:

    Key Verterra staff designed, established and monitored a comprehensive set of trials testing a wide range of germplasm sources from provenance material, through families to clones. Progressive assessment allowed better performing germplasm sources to be quickly identified and progressively refined, substantially reducing the time to field deployment and realisation of genetic gain.

  • Benefit to Client:

    The trial program provided the client with detailed data informing silvicultural practices, germplasm selection and ongoing investment for a new and developing commercial forestry project in a remote area of Australia in association with local indigenous groups.

  • Market Sector: Renewable resources - agriculture, grazing and forestry
  • Capabilities:
    • Forest and fodder crops
    • Tree and crop improvement
    • General land, water and vegetation technical services
  • Location: Northern Territory
  • Year: 1999 - 2000