Biological and economic production in Radiata Pine plantations.
Presents a review of the literature on the biological production of unmanaged native Eucalyptus forest and Pinus radiata plantations in Australia. The annual biological production (above ground) of the P. radiata stands is greatest (26 t/ha) at ca. 6-7 years; it averages 16-18 t/ha throughout a crop rotation of 40-45 years. Economic production might average 10 t/ha/year throughout a rotation or 55% of the total biological production. The biological production of the P. radiata crop is ca. three times the production of the original native stand, but the economic production might be greater by 20-40 times. However, the plantations might be more profitable if intermediate thinnings were more intensive than needed for maximum wood production, even though this might result in an over-all reduction of up to 25% in the yield of wood. Intermediate schedules, resulting in near-maximum financial return with only small losses in volume production, will possibly be most acceptable.