River red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) are a dominant ecological component of the floodplain forests of the Murray-Darling River Basin and are under threat from a variety of sources (Cunningham et al. in press). The aim of this project was to determine the potential of river red gum for dendrochronological studies. Determining community age structure, long-term growth patterns, and the influence of river dynamics on population demography are critical to developing mitigation and restoration strategies for river red gum communities. A preliminary study by Argent et al. (1997) suggested that crossdating of growth rings in river red gum may be possible. We used a combination of crossdating and radiocarbon dating to test this idea using river red gum from Gunbower Island on the Murray River.
Travel and logistical support for this project were provided by Monash University's Early Career Researcher Program. Radiocarbon dates were provided by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization through grant AINSE05006.