Tom Lewis's research while affiliated with University of the Sunshine Coast and other places

Publications (56)

Article
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There is considerable uncertainty surrounding the future availability of hardwood timber from state-owned native forests in southern Queensland. The timber industry is becoming increasingly reliant on private native forests, where much is on properties primarily managed for beef cattle grazing. Historically, these forests have been periodically hig...
Article
Prescribed fire is a management tool in many Australian and international ecosystems, where it can benefit biodiversity conservation and potentially reduce the risk of extreme wildfires threatening highly valued assets. However, the economic efficiency of prescribed fire is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to progress this understanding...
Article
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We compared selectively harvested and unharvested areas located among treatments of annual burning since 1952, triennial burning since 1973 and an area that had received no prescribed burning, but with a single wildfire in 2006 (one fire in 72 years), in a dry sclerophyll eucalypt forest, south-eastern Queensland, Australia. Historic fire regime, r...
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Spotted gum (Corymbia citriodora spp. variegata; CCV) has been widely planted, has a wide natural distribution, and is the most important commercially harvested hardwood species in Queensland, Australia. It has a great capacity to sequester carbon, thus reducing the impact of CO2 emissions on climate. Belowground root biomass (BGB) plays an importa...
Article
This study aimed to explore the effects of biochar on pulse CO2 and N2O emissions and N cycling microbial functional genes after a short-term drought through a soil incubation experiment. Soil samples were collected in a macadamia orchard where biochar was applied 5 years prior to the incubation. Samples were wetted after being subjected to short-t...
Article
Fire regimes are shifting under climate change. Decadal‐scale shifts in fire regime can disrupt the biogeochemical cycling of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) within forest ecosystems, but the full extent of these disruptions is unknown. It is also unclear whether these disruptions have consequences for the ecological characteristics (e...
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Imperata cylindrica is a perennial grass that often proliferates in fire-affected forests. Recent fire events have been consistently associated with a lowering of soil nitrogen (N) to phosphorus (P) ratios. Thus, I. cylindrica might have a tendency toward P-limited growth and/or tolerance for low soil N availability that confers a competitive advan...
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A practical and cost-effective destructive sampling method for estimating above and belowground biomass of Corymbia citriodora subspecies variegata grown in plantations is described. The methodology includes details on selecting sample trees, weighing tree components in the field, excavating root systems and obtaining fresh weights and laboratory a...
Technical Report
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Private native forests across Queensland and New South Wales (NSW) are an important source of domestic timber supply upon which the Australian hardwood timber industry depends. The aim of this project was to generate new information for the timber industry and landholders on the timber producing potential of private native forests in southern Queen...
Article
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The changes in fire regimes expected under climate change are likely to disrupt the biogeochemical cycling of carbon (C) and nutrients in forest ecosystems. Plant litter decomposition is a critical step in the terrestrial biogeochemical cycle, and is an important determinant of fire fuel load and forest C balance. We conducted a 277-day leaf litter...
Article
Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) generates accurate data for calculating forest metrics, such as canopy height, yet can be cost-prohibitive. Satellite-based stereo pair photogrammetry has the potential to overcome this limitation of ALS to facilitate multi-temporal change analysis when ALS data capture is unfeasible; however, it remains largely untest...
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Background and aims Fires can alter the elemental stoichiometry of ecosystems, reflecting altered patterns of biogeochemical cycling in the post-fire environment. However, elements other than carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) have rarely been studied in this context. Thus, we aimed to expand the understanding of fire’s stoichiometric and...
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Widespread and continuing losses of tropical old-growth forests imperil global biodiversity and alter global carbon (C) cycling. Soil organic carbon (SOC) typically declines with land use change from old-growth forest, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Ecological restoration plantations offer an established means of restoring abo...
Article
This paper identifies key fire history and fire-related spatial databases that can be utilised for effective planning and assessment of prescribed burns in south-eastern Queensland. To ensure that appropriate fire regimes are maintained for specific management objectives (e.g. biodiversity conservation or risk management), and to assist fire manage...
Article
Litterfall helps maintaining nutrient return in forest ecosystems. However, the influence of long-term prescribed burning on the dynamics of litterfall biomass and carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling is poorly understood. A 39-year old prescribed burning field trial in a wet sclerophyll forest, southeast Queensland, Australia, was used to investiga...
Article
Litterfall helps maintaining nutrient return in forest ecosystems. However, the influence of long-term prescribed burning on the dynamics of litterfall biomass and carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling is poorly understood. A 39-year old prescribed burning field trial in a wet sclerophyll forest, southeast Queensland, Australia, was used to investiga...
Article
Changes in land use affect the soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks and pools. This is currently of great interest as soils are a major pool of carbon in the biosphere and can sequester atmospheric carbon. This study investigated the effect of pasture conversions into reforestation or cropping land on SOC, humic organic C (HOC), particulate organic C (...
Article
Changes in fire regime and soil temperatures will be simultaneous symptoms of climate change in many regions around the world, yet very few studies have investigated how these factors will interact to affect soil carbon (C) cycling. Interacting effects of fire regime and temperature on soil C cycling processes might constitute an important but poor...
Article
Decadal‐scale increases in fire frequency have the potential to deplete ecosystems of essential nutrients and consequently impede nutrient‐limited biological processes via stoichiometric imbalance. Decomposition, a fundamental ecosystem function and strong driver of future fire occurrence, is highly sensitive to nutrient availability and is, theref...
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Fire has a varied influence on plant and animal species through direct (e.g. fire‐induced mortality) and indirect (e.g. modification of habitat) effects. Our understanding of the influence of fire regime on invertebrates and their response to fire‐induced modifications to habitat is poor. We aimed to determine the response of a beetle family (Coleo...
Article
Accurate quantification of below-ground biomass (BGB) of woody vegetation is critical to understanding ecosystem function and potential for climate change mitigation from sequestration of biomass carbon. We compiled 2054 measurements of planted and natural individual tree and shrub biomass from across different regions of Australia (arid shrublands...
Article
Land management agencies in Queensland conduct planned burning for a variety of reasons, principally for management of fuels for human asset protection and biodiversity management. Using Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service’s archived manually derived fire reports, this study considered the individual components of the fire regime (extent, frequen...
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Background: Australia’s energy future is at the crossroads and the role of renewable sources is in focus. Biomass from sustainably managed forests provide a significant opportunity for electricity and heat generation and production of liquid fuels. Australia has extensive native forests of which a significant proportion are on private land. However...
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Background and aimsVegetation fire often raises levels of soil phosphorus (P) relative to those of nitrogen (N), while long-term fire exclusion is associated with accumulation of soil N and depletion of soil available P. Thus, high-frequency fire regimes might trigger N-limited plant growth in otherwise P-limited plant communities. Methods We used...
Article
Modelling response surfaces using tensor cubic smoothing splines is presented for three designed experiments. The aim is to show how the analyses can be carried out using the asreml software in the R environment, and details of the analyses including the code to do so are presented in a tutorial style. The experiments were all run over time and inv...
Article
Tropical regions of the world experience high rates of land-use change and this has a major influence on terrestrial carbon (C) pools and the global C cycle. We assessed land-use change from agriculture to reforested plantings (with endemic species), up to 33 years of age, using 10 paired sites in the wet tropics, Australia. We determined the impac...
Article
The biogeochemical and stoichiometric signature of vegetation fire may influence post-fire ecosystem characteristics and the evolution of plant ‘fire traits’. Phosphorus (P), a potentially limiting nutrient in many fire-prone environments, might be particularly important in this context; however, the effects of fire on P cycling often vary widely....
Article
Reforestation of agricultural land with mixed-species environmental plantings of native trees and shrubs contributes to abatement of greenhouse gas emissions through sequestration of carbon, and to landscape remediation and biodiversity enhancement. Although accumulation of carbon in biomass is relatively well understood, less is known about associ...
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Fire is a common feature of Australian forests and prescribed burning is a routine management strategy, often utilised to mitigate the effects of wildfire. However, the impacts of fire on terrestrial invertebrates are poorly understood. Here we provide an overview of continuing long-term fire studies in temperate and sub-tropical forest ecosystems,...
Article
Reforestation of agricultural lands with mixed-species environmental plantings can effectively sequester C. While accurate and efficient methods for predicting soil organic C content and composition have recently been developed for soils under agricultural land uses, such methods under forested land uses are currently lacking. This study aimed to d...
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Background and aims Changes to soil nutrient concentrations following vegetation fire may affect biogeochemical cycling and foliar stoichiometry. Phosphorus (P)-limited plant communities are widespread and may be particularly sensitive to fire, but have received relatively little research attention in this context. Methods We measured soil nutrien...
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To understand the temporal dynamics of soil bacterial denitrifying community in response to long-term prescribed burning and its resilience and recovery following a fire, a wet sclerophyll forest study site under two treatments (2 yearly burning (2YB) and no burning (NB)) and with 40-year-old burning history was used. Similar temporal patterns in t...
Article
Ecological stoichiometry may be used to investigate the impacts of fire regime, as fire regime can influence the cycling and balance of elements within forest ecosystems. We investigated the effects of fire history on soil and litter stoichiometry in four forest sites in Queensland, Australia. Soil and litter in recently burned areas were compared...
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Land-use change can have a major influence on soil organic carbon (SOC) and above-ground C pools. We assessed a change from native vegetation to introduced Pinus species plantations on C pools using eight paired sites. At each site we determined the impacts on 0-50 cm below-ground (SOC, charcoal C, organic matter C, particulate organic C, humic org...
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Effects of fire on biogeochemical cycling in terrestrial ecosystem are widely acknowledged, while few studies have focused on the bacterial community under the disturbance of long-term frequent prescribed fire. In this study, three treatments (burning every two years (B2), burning every four years (B4) and no burning (B0)) were applied for 38 years...
Article
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Accurate ground-based estimation of the carbon stored in terrestrial ecosystems is critical to quantifying the global carbon budget. Allometric models provide cost-effective methods for biomass prediction. But do such models vary with ecoregion or plant functional type? We compiled 15,054 measurements of individual tree or shrub biomass from across...
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the long-term effects of repeated prescribed fires on soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) pools are poorly understood. This study aimed to investigate how different fire frequency regimes influence C and N pools in the surface soils (0–10 cm). A prescribed fire field experiment in awet sclerophyll forest established in 1972 in southeast Queensland was...
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Retrospective identification of fire severity can improve our understanding of fire behaviour and ecological responses. However, burnt area records for many ecosystems are non-existent or incomplete, and those that are documented rarely include fire severity data. Retrospective analysis using satellite remote sensing data captured over extended per...
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Low-intensity prescribed burning is a common forest management tool and plays a major role in modifying biogeochemical cycling through the alteration of substrate availability and microbial communities. In this study, we assessed the response of microbial community to repeated prescribed burning in two sclerophyll forests (the Bauple site, dry, ann...
Article
Prescribed fire is one of the most widely-used management tools for reducing fuel loads in managed forests. However the long-term effects of repeated prescribed fires on soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) pools are poorly understood. This study aimed to investigate how different fire frequency regimes influence C and N pools in the surface soils (0-1...
Article
Soil biogeochemical cycles are largely mediated by microorganisms, while fire significantly modifies biogeochemical cycles mainly via altering microbial community and substrate availability. Majority of studies on fire effects have focused on the surface soil; therefore, our understanding of the vertical distribution of microbial communities and th...
Article
Plantings of mixed native species (termed ‘environmental plantings’) are increasingly being established for carbon sequestration whilst providing additional environmental benefits such as biodiversity and water quality. In Australia, they are currently one of the most common forms of reforestation. Investment in establishing and maintaining such pl...
Article
Previous short-term studies predict that the use of fire to manage lantana (Lantana camara) may promote its abundance. We tested this prediction by examining long-term recruitment patterns of lantana in a dry eucalypt forest in Australia from 1959 to 2007 in three fire frequency treatments: repeated annual burning, repeated triennial burning and lo...
Article
To quantify the impact that planting indigenous trees and shrubs in mixed communities (environmental plantings) have on net sequestration of carbon and other environmental or commercial benefits, precise and non-biased estimates of biomass are required. Because these plantings consist of several species, estimation of their biomass through allometr...
Article
Fire is a major driver of ecosystem change and can disproportionately affect the cycling of different nutrients. Thus, a stoichiometric approach to investigate the relationships between nutrient availability and microbial resource use during decomposition is likely to provide insight into the effects of fire on ecosystem functioning. We conducted a...
Article
We used a long‐term fire experiment in south‐east Queensland, Australia, to determine the effects of frequent prescribed burning and fire exclusion on understorey vegetation (Eucalyptus pilularis forest. Our study provided a point in time assessment of the standing vegetation and soil‐stored vegetation at two experimental sites with treatments of b...
Article
Wildfire represents a major risk to pine plantations. This risk is particularly great for young plantations (generally less than 10m in height) where prescribed fire cannot be used to manipulate fuel biomass, and where flammable grasses are abundant in the understorey. We report results from a replicated field experiment designed to determine the e...
Article
We investigated the effects of annual burning since 1952, triennial burning since 1973, fire exclusion since 1946 and infrequent wildfire (one fire in 61 years) on woody understorey vegetation in a dry sclerophyll eucalypt forest, south-eastern Queensland, Australia. We determined the influence of these treatments, and other site variables (rainfal...
Article
We monitored an area that was revegetated with the goal of restoring a Eucalyptus tereticornis open forest on former agricultural land in central, eastern Queensland. Revegetation involved: (1) planting 60 ha of previously cleared and heavily grazed land with eight local trees species; and (2) removing cattle grazing to encourage natural regenerati...

Citations

... The dry weight of the BGB in this study is 2.6 kg/tree to 730.7 kg/tree. In compariso Huynh et al. [44] found the amount of BGB of Corymbia citriodora subspecies varieg (spotted gum) varied from 11.2 to 70.2 kg/tree and from 64.4 to 387.6 kg/tree, respective for 9-and 20-year-old trees in Australia. The comparison of the BGB to AGB was 18 This value is similar to the research conducted in a lowland primary dipterocarp forest the Pasoh Forest Reserve, Peninsular Malaysia [45]. ...
... The OFW and KAS kinetic models revealed activation energy (E a ) and frequency factor (k o ) ranged from 38.09 to 514.33 kJ mol −1 and 1.65 × 10°2 to 1.24 × 10 48 min −1 , respectively, for conversions α = 0.05 to 0.95, which indicate ICY fibers are thermally stable and suitable for utilization as bio-composite reinforcement. Introduction 50 Imperata cylindrica (ICY), otherwise called Cogon, spear or lalang grass, is a perennial and rhizomatous grass of the Monocotyledonae family that grows from 30 cm to 150 cm in height (Butler, Lewis, and Chen 2021;Cabi 2021). It is a fast-growing grass species native to the subtropical and humid tropical regions of Africa and Asia, where it is known to inhabit an extensive range of habitats (Garrity et al. 1996;Heuzé et al. 2016). ...
... In global forest ecosystems, a large amount of organic debris generates and returns to the mineral soil in the form of litterfall (Qin et al., 2019;Shen et al., 2019). Litterfall biomass, litter accumulation and involved nutrient return are essential processes for functioning nutrient cycling (Muqaddas and Lewis, 2020;Zhou et al., 2016;Berg and McClaugherty, 2014;Barlow et al., 2007), water and soil conservation (Dunkerley, 2015;Sayer, 2006), energy transfer (Kavvadias et al., 2001), soil fertility (Pandey et al., 2007) and other ecosystem services. Several studies have demonstrated that nutrient recirculation from litter decomposition makes up more than 90% of the nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), 88% of the potassium (K) and 60%-90% of the total nutrients required by plant growth in many terrestrial ecosystems (Campos et al., 2016;Chapin III et al., 2002). ...
... Through determining the biomass amount of the selected areas, we can determine the carbon capacity of the regions. The quantity of AGB is directly associated with the morphology of the trees and associated parameters are typically measured directly via destructive sampling methods as shown in recent studies (Huynh et al., 2021). On the other hand there are cost recovery and economic incentives study about non-destructive method in the literature as well as Louis and Kizha, 2021;Berry and Sessions, 2020). ...
... The balance of protecting infrastructure and human safety, as well as the hotter more unpredictable climate in the future, may make prescribed burning more precarious, which means that the implementation of fire regimes that aim to conserve and promote biodiversity at a landscape scale are a major challenge. Previous research has highlighted that appropriate fire regimes aimed at balancing biodiversity conservation management will need to incorporate previously underutilised methods of fuel estimation such as LiDAR, alongside further integration of spatial datasets to facilitate efficient utilisation of resources related to fire management [70]. ...
... This could be achieved using multitemporal burned products as well as products derived from moderate-to coarse-resolution satellites and the use of these products and GIS mapping to determine time since fire. Use of multitemporal LiDAR data-or photogrammetry-based methods (Olive et al. 2020), together with field observations could be used to monitor vertical fuel structure at sites of interest (e.g. adjacent to housing estates) Achieving low-intensity burns in specific areas, for example, top-disposal burns following timber harvesting in sustainable production zones (e.g. to prevent tree death or damage) ...
... (2) elements migration or transformation during pyrolysis of biomass and its influencing factors (Alves et al. 2019;Becidan et al. 2007); (3) study on the distribution, enrichment of elements in agricultural waste and plant ash (Miller et al. 2002;Dfaz-Ramirez et al. 2014); (4) element precipitation or transformation during biomass combustion and its influencing factors (Miller et al. 2002;Niu et al. 2016); (5) estimation and simulation of element emissions under insufficient oxygen supply in special cases, such as forest fire and compost (Garau et al. 2021;Butler et al. 2020). However, the insufficiency of relevant researches is also obvious. ...
... However, although some studies report increases in TN levels in pastures (Lammel et al. 2017;Wehr et al. 2020), this was not confirmed in the agricultural areas farmed by Quilombolas in this study. This difference may be related to the lack of soil fertility management or N addition, apart from the generally high C/N ratio of grasses, unfavorable for N mineralization. ...
... Weather conditions can also affect the costs of completing prescribed fires (Gill et al., 2012;Alvarado et al., 2018). Prescribed fires conducted during cooler or more humid conditions require fewer resources to contain compared with fires carried out during warmer and drier conditions (Gill, 1979;Bond and Scott, 2010;Bradstock et al., 2010;Eliott et al., 2019). Additionally, fuel conditions are governed by weather conditions over the preceding weeks and months, with drier weather promoting lower fuel moisture. ...
... The relevant studies have shown that the establishment of cultivated pastures can reduce the risk of soil erosion, protect the soil surface (Momesso et al., 2022), and improve soil quality and nutrient content (Baptistella et al., 2020). At the same time, it can also provide services for the agricultural ecosystem and improve crop yield (Bonner et al., 2020), which is the last barrier to protect the fragile ecological environment and plays an irreplaceable role in the process of vegetation restoration (Chi et al., 2020). ...