Peter Erskine

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The current scale of deforestation in tropical regions and the large areas of degraded lands now present underscore the urgent need for interventions to restore biodiversity, ecological functioning, and the supply of goods and ecological services previously used by poor rural communities. Traditional timber plantations have supplied some goods but have made(More)
Plants collected from diverse sites on subantarctic Macquarie Island varied by up to 30‰ in their leaf δ15N values. 15N natural abundance of plants, soils, animal excrement and atmospheric ammonia suggest that the majority of nitrogen utilised by plants growing in the vicinity of animal colonies or burrows is animal-derived. Plants growing near scavengers(More)
Nitrogen relations of natural and disturbed tropical plant communities in northern Australia (Kakadu National Park) were studied. Plant and soil N characteristics suggested that differences in N source utilisation occur at community and species level. Leaf and xylem sap N concentrations of plants in different communities were correlated with the(More)
We investigated the relationship between plant diversity and ecological function (production and nutrient cycling) in tropical tree plantations. Old plantations (65–72 years) of four different species, namely Araucaria cunninghamii, Agathis robusta, Toona ciliata and Flindersia brayleyana, as well as natural secondary forest were examined at Wongabel State(More)
Phytomining technology employs hyperaccumulator plants to take up metal in harvestable plant biomass. Harvesting, drying and incineration of the biomass generates a high-grade bio-ore. We propose that "agromining" (a variant of phytomining) could provide local communities with an alternative type of agriculture on degraded lands; farming not for food crops,(More)
Monoculture plantations of Pinus, Eucalyptus and Acacia have beenestablished on rainforest lands throughout the world. However, this type of reforestation generally supplies low quality timber and contributes to landscape simplification. Alternatives to exotic monoculture plantations are now beginning to gain momentum with farmers and landholders attempting(More)
Throughout the process of coal extraction from surface mines, gases and particles are emitted in the form of fugitive emissions by activities such as hauling, blasting and transportation. As these emissions are diffuse in nature, estimations based upon emission factors and dispersion/advection equations need to be measured directly from the atmosphere. This(More)
Sabah (Malaysia) has one of the largest surface expressions of ultramafic rocks on Earth and in parallel hosts one of the most species-rich floras. Despite the extensive knowledge of the botanical diversity and the chemistry of these substrates, until recently the records for nickel (Ni) hyperaccumulator plants in the area have been scant. Recent intensive(More)
Kinabalu Park is the world’s most species-rich hotspot with over 5000 plant species recorded for an area 1200 km2. The aim of this study was to characterise the vegetation on ultramafic edaphic ‘islands’ in relation to soil chemistry and elevation. In total 87 non-permanent vegetation plots were established covering 12 ultramafic edaphic ‘islands’ from 474(More)