• Home
  • Alister V. Spain
Alister V. Spain

Alister V. Spain
Dr Alister Spain

M.Agr.Sc., Ph.D.

About

123
Publications
42,899
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
4,279
Citations
Additional affiliations
June 2013 - December 2013
Universidad Nacional de Chimborazo (UNACH)
Position
  • Prometeo program
Description
  • Postgraduate teaching, research guidance
April 2001 - March 2003
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • Mine site restoration works
August 1974 - August 1998
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • General soil science topics

Publications

Publications (123)
Article
Full-text available
Macroinvertebrates comprise a highly diverse set of taxa with great potential as indicators of soil quality. Communities were sampled at 3,694 sites distributed world‐wide. We aimed to analyse the patterns of abundance, composition and network characteristics and their relationships to latitude, mean annual temperature and rainfall, land cover, soi...
Article
Full-text available
Soil aggregation and its effects on soil C storage have been addressed in thousands of research articles over the last 40 years. Research has been mostly focused on the resistance of aggregates to mechanical disruption and the role of organic matter in aggregate stabilization. On the other hand, relatively little attention has been paid to identify...
Article
Full-text available
Soil ag gre ga tion Soil or gan isms C cy cling A B S T R A C T Soil ag gre ga tion and its ef fects on soil C stor age have been ad dressed in thou sands of re search ar ti cles over the last 40 years. Re search has been mostly focused on the re sis tance of ag gre gates to me chan i cal dis rup tion and the role of or ganic mat ter in ag gre gate...
Article
Full-text available
Background and aims We hypothesized that successful early ecosystem and soil development in these P-deficient soil materials will initially depend on effective re-establishment of P storage and cycling through organic matter. This hypothesis was tested in a 26-year chronosequence of seven lightly fertilized, oxidic soil materials restored to eucaly...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Descriptions are presented of the climate and soils of two study sites in tropical northeastern Queensland. Soils were derived from siliceous sands and basaltic parent materials. Analyses are presented of row and inter-row soils under different systems of management: harvest residues burned, harvest residues retained as a surface mulch, or harvest...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract: Soils are self-organized ecological systems within which organisms interact within a nested suite of discrete scales. Microorganisms form communities and physical structures at the smallest scale (microns), followed by the community of their predators organized in microfoodwebs (tens of microns), the functional domains built by ecosystem...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The limited amounts of available good quality, fully developed soil frequently constrain the success of rehabilitation works. Consequently, the minesoils that develop spontaneously on spoil materials and their transported erosion products in post‐mining landscapes must be used as alternative growing media in achieving rehabilitation objectives. The...
Book
Full-text available
Mining in Ecologically Sensitive Landscapes explores the interface between geology and botany, and mining and conservation. Many areas of unusual geology that contain ore-bearing bodies also support unique ecological communities of plants and animals. Increasing demand to exploit rich mineral deposits can lead to a conflict between mining and conse...
Chapter
Full-text available
The system of mining and restoration developed and used at the Rio Tinto Alcan Gove bauxite mine between 1973 and 2005 is described. By 2009, this system had been used to restore successfully more than 3000 ha of mined lands to ecosystems dominated by local native open-forest species. The major features of post-restoration development in these rest...
Chapter
Full-text available
The text content for your contribution is in final form when you receive your proof. Please read your proof for accuracy and clarity, as well as for typographical errors. DO NOT REWRITE. Please ensure you answer all Author Queries. While it is appreciated that some proofs may require updating/revising, please try to keep any alterations to a minimu...
Chapter
Full-text available
Soils host very abundant and diverse communities of microbes and invertebrates mostly unidentified so far, especially microbes and submicroscopic animals. Microorganisms and invertebrates have developed complementary functions to digest low quality food resources, move in this very compact environment and adapt to unstable moisture conditions. Micr...
Chapter
Full-text available
The abilities of roots and their mycorrhizal symbionts to colonise often unfavourable materials are critical to successful ecosystem development after mining, both for long-term sustainability and for more immediate erosion control. In this study we examined the capacities of grass roots and their mycorrhizas to colonise successfully a range of soi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The pattern of termite colonisation and the production of termite constructs are reported from a 26-year age series of sites rehabilitated after bauxite mining in northern tropical Australia. Initial colonisation probably occurs at the time of profile reconstruction and termites were active within eight months of seeding in wood decomposing on the...
Chapter
Full-text available
The pattern of termite colonisation and the production of termite constructs are reported from a 26-year age series of sites rehabilitated after bauxite mining in northern tropical Australia. Initial colonisation probably occurs at the time of profile reconstruction and termites were active within eight months of seeding in wood decomposing on the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper addresses some of the major benefits that the use of trees can confer in the rehabilitation of post-mining environments. The reasons for tree planting may be divided into five broad classes: i. social, political and legal, ii. economic, iii. technical and management, iv. conservation practice and v. aesthetic. In addition, trees may be e...
Article
Full-text available
ABSTRACTA total of 96 species from 28 genera were recorded from a combination of pitfall trapping, baiting and hand collecting at five sites in the Bowen Basin region (mean annual rainfall about 600 mm) of central Queensland. The richest genera were Camponotus (15 species), Iridomyrmex (10), Melophorus (12), Monomorium (10), Pheidole (8), Meranoplu...
Article
Full-text available
The spores of ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi are shown to occur regularly within the mounds of grass-, litter- and wood-feeding termites in Australian savannah and forest environments, except in closed-forest environments lacking putative ECM host species. The spore population densities in mound materials are substantially greater and the communities...
Article
The species present, and the frequencies and intensities of termite attack on 600 paper baits exposed at the soil surface were compared over three seasonal exposures and between two savanna sites of contrasting vegetation structure in northern Australia. Eleven species were recorded, with Microcerotermes nervosus and Schedorhinotermes actuosus comp...
Article
Full-text available
This paper is a preliminary analysis of the most important geomorphic structures and processes observed at open-cut minesites throughout the Bowen Basin (Queensland, Australia). A number of different landform types are created during open-cut coal mining operations These may be modified by both natural geomorphic events and by reshaping processes t...
Poster
Full-text available
Restoration of oxidic soil materials to native forest ecosystems after bauxite mining
Article
Full-text available
A three-stage study of 18 year-old covers on Whiteís waste rock heap, Rum Jungle, Northern Territory, Australia was undertaken to ascertain the factors leading to a reported deterioration in performance. Stage 1 of the study involved the collation of information about the Rum Jungle rehabilitation works, with a focus on the design and construction...
Article
Tissue N and C stable isotope ratios of two sympatric termite species were investigated in relation to those of their stored food materials at two savanna sites in north-eastern Australia (Woodstock and Oak Valley). At both sites, the δ15N values of termite tissues and the stored food materials of the litter-feeding species Amitermes laurensis were...
Book
Full-text available
A number of excellent textbooks on general ecology are currently available but‚ to date‚ none have been dedicated to the study of soil ecology. This is important because the soil‚ as the ‘epidermis’ of our planet‚ is the major component of the terrestrial biosphere. In the present age‚ it is difficult to understand how one could be interested in ge...
Book
Full-text available
Ecology of soils, 2nd part
Article
Full-text available
As part of the European Union-funded Macrofauna Project, 16 experiments were conducted over a 7-year period on the effects of earthworm inoculation on plant production, both at the greenhouse and field level. These experiments were undertaken in six countries, involved 14 plant species, 6 great groups of soils, and at least 13 species of earthworms...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report presents information on the occurrence of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in the near-surface mounds and other termite-derived structures sampled largely in northern Australia.
Article
Full-text available
One hundred and thirty-eight scat (faecal) samples from 17 mammal species native to forests of northeastern Queensland were examined for the presence of spores of both ectomycorrhizal and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Spores of mycorrhizal fungi were found in 57 percent of scat samples representing 12 animal species (Aepyprymnus rufescens, Antechin...
Article
Full-text available
The d13C and d15N values of sugarcane plant tissues, decomposing harvest residues, soil and the casts and body tissues of the earthwormPontoscolex corethrurus were determined. Little variation in d13C values was found between plant parts. The d13C values of the decomposing harvest residues declined and became more variable after 148 days of exposur...
Article
Full-text available
The δ13C values of the tissue carbon of 14 termite species showed clear differences, related to the ranges of their putative diets. Only small differences in tissue δ13C values were apparent between worker and soldier castes in the seven species examined. δ13C values were higher in the mounds and other constructs of grass-harvesting species consumi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Pot experiments on the establishment of Calliandra calothyrsus in relation to P fertilizer inputs and AM colonisation
Article
Full-text available
Many sugarcane crops in northeastern Australia are now harvested without prior burning and large masses of leafy residues are thus available for use as a surface mulch, or for incorporation into the mineral soil. The standing crop biomass of harvest residues at the present study site was estimated at 1583 g/m-2 on the day of harvest and was followe...
Article
Full-text available
A general model is presented in which the dynamics of decomposition in terrestrial ecosystems are determined by a set of hierarchically organized factors which regulate microbial activity at decreasing scales of time and space in the following order: climate - clay mineralogy + nutrient status of soil - quality of decomposing resources - effect of...
Article
Full-text available
In experiments conducted in the Côte d'Ivoire, increased growth of maize and guinea grass in an infertile, granite-derived soil was associated with the addition of earthworms to the soil in which these plants were grown. Experiments using 15N-labelled Millsonia anomala and soil microbial biomass indicated an increased incorporation of N from the mi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Describes the return of the plant and animal communities and the developing soil materials (oxisols) following restoration after bauxite mining in tropical northern Australia
Article
Full-text available
"The sustainability of soil fertility in agricultural systems of the humid tropics has recently become a major issue as a consequence of continued land degradation and the critical need to provide more food. For socioeconomic, pedological, and ecological reasons, the development of sustainable high-input agriculture has proven to be slow and diffic...
Article
Full-text available
A glasshouse experiment was used to investigate the transfer of infective Frankia propagules in soil by the endogeic earthworm Pontoscolex corethrurus. Seedlings of Casuarina equisetifolia were inoculated, either with a crushed nodule suspension of Frankia, or with casts of P. corethrurus that had been raised in a sterilized soil through which crus...
Article
Full-text available
Casts of 13 earthworm species with differing ecological strategies were collected from more than 60 sites and examined for the presence of propagules of vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) fungi. Intact spores of VAM fungi were found in all but one collection. VAM root fragments were also present in some cast samples.The diversity of VAM spore t...
Article
Full-text available
The pantropical, geophagous earthworm species Pontoscolex corethrurus (Müller) is common in lowland soils supporting sugarcanc in notheastern Queensland. In comparison with situations where harvest residues are burned, its populations are substantially increased under cultural treatments in which harvest residues are retained as a surface mulch or...
Article
Full-text available
The present study assessed the effect of the tropical geophagous earthworm, Millsonia anomala, on the aggregate-size distribution of a sieved (2 mm), tropical ferruginous soil in the presence and absence of the perennial tropical grass Panicum maximum. The effect of two size groupings and graded biomass densities of M. anomala on soil aggregation w...
Article
Full-text available
Large seasonal changes were noted in field measurements of penetration resistance and shear strength over the course of a sixteen-month study in three tropical soils supporting rainforest. Both penetration resistance and shear strength levels were seasonally higher in soils of basaltic origin than in those formed from alluvial or metamorphic parent...
Article
Full-text available
Concentrations of carbon, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, soil pH, the sum of the exchangeable basic cations, clay and dithionite-extractable iron were examined in the surface soils of 72 rainforest sites from north-eastern tropical Queensland. Soils derived from basalt had higher levels of most of the above properties than those formed on other...
Article
Full-text available
Numbers of micro-organisms in soils from Wilkes Land varied widely. Bacteria, yeasts and Mamentous fungi occurred in all samples analysed and the numbers of bacteria were positively correlated with the numbers of yeasts, and with pH. Moss protonema and seven species of algae and cyanobacteria were also present and measurable amounts of chlorophylls...
Article
Full-text available
Increased proportions of large aggregates occur in sieved soils where eudrilid earthworms are present. Aggregation in these soils is considered to result from the effects of casting plus additional components due to colloids, the activity of microorganisms and binding of fresh casts to non-ingested soils. -Authors
Technical Report
Full-text available
The concentrations of selected elements and other properties of litterfall and litter layer materials are presented for an altitudinal series of three tropical Australian rainforests growing on soils derived from basaltic parent materials.
Technical Report
Full-text available
This technical memorandum describes the climate and soil properties of contrasting sites with soils derived from siliceous sands and basaltic parent materials. The two sites support sugarcane under management systems where harvest residues are and are not retained on site.
Technical Report
Selected chemical and physical properties of the soils (krasnozems) and the nature of the forests at three study sites in northeastern Queensland are described in relation to selected environmental factors. The highly and deeply weathered soils of these sites differ in bulk density and particle-size distribution, in their contents of soil carbon an...
Article
Full-text available
(1) The distributions of herbaceous species on and around the termitaria of grass- and litter-feeding termites were examined at four locations in tropical north-eastern Australia. (2) Plant growth on the upper mound surfaces is largely confined to extended periods of high humidity during the summer wet season but occurs most extensively on the base...
Article
Full-text available
(1) Using litter bags, the rates of breakdown of the litter of Pinus caribaea, Araucaria cunninghamii and Eucalyptus alba were compared with that of a mixed-species rainforest litter in a lowland tropical rainforest. (2) The litter was exposed during the early part of the summer wet season and compared for 253 days; more than 1660 mm of rain was re...
Article
Full-text available
(1) The soil nutrient levels, standing crop of litter and populations of soil and litter arthropods of a tropical Australian rainforest on the Atherton Tableland in north Queensland are compared with those of an adjacent 41-year-old hoop pine (Araucaria cunninghamii D. Don) plantation. (2) Organic carbon levels in the rainforest soil were markedly...
Article
Full-text available
Spatial patterns in the mounds built by harvester and forager termites were examined in six pairs of study plots at four locations in tropical Australia. The distributions of all mounds tended to regularity (overdispersion) in six plots, did not depart from spatial randomness in one and were aggregated in five. Scale effects were shown to be import...
Article
Full-text available
Synopsis: After six weeks growth in a glasshouse, an annual grass (Digitaria ciliaris) and a pasture legume (Stylosanthes hamata) showed enhanced biomass on termite mound materials as compared with plants grown on surface soils from the same areas. Biomass was well correlated with the phosphorus and nitrogen status of the mound and the soil materia...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In glasshouse trials, the growth of two tropical pasture species (Stylosanthes hamata cv verano Leguminoseae) and an annual grass (Digitaria ciliaris) was compared on mound materials and soils taken from beneath and adjacent to termitaria. Growth of D. ciliaris is enhanced on some mound materials and that of both species is greater distances up to...
Article
Full-text available
Mounds of Amitermes laurensis and A. vitiosus in Queensland had higher levels of a range of plant nutrient and other elements than their surrounding surface soils. The distributions of organic matter and a number of these elements varied with position in the mound. -from Authors
Article
Full-text available
In NE Queensland annual litterfall ranged from 728-1053 g m-2yr-1 over 3 yr at all sites. Litterfall is strongly seasonal, heaviest falls occurred in the latter part of the dry season and the early part of the wet season. Between-year-variation in total litterfall was low and 3-yr coefficients of variation within sites ranged from 4.5-10.0%. The pr...
Article
Full-text available
Within 15 min of oviposition, eggs of the buffalo fly were immersed in water for various periods at constant temperatures of 20,25,30 or 35°C. Mortality among the embryos increased sharply with the duration of immersion. At all temperatures except 25°C, survival levels were predicted to be low when immersion times approached the normal developmenta...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The concentrations of soluble elements and other properties of the surface soils of a tropical Australian salt pan are presented in relation to relative level above sea level and season.
Article
Full-text available
The long axes of the bases of the conical mounds of Amitermes laurensis and the bases and apices of those of A. vitiosus have a consistent orientation within selected study plots in northern Queensland. This orientation varies considerably over quite small distances. Orientations of the compass mounds of A. laurensis from Cape York Peninsula are co...
Chapter
Full-text available
A summary of litter properties and fauna in the Australian context
Article
Full-text available
Regression relationships between high temperature loss-on-ignition and organic carbon values are presented for data from a range of Australian soils. Inclusion of the clay content markedly improves the proportion of variance explained by the regressions. It is shown that soils differ in their regressions of organic carbon on loss-on-ignition. Loss-...