NRS Forest Science Seminar series: Developing mixed conifer forests in Britain: from policy to practice

Event details

  • Friday 22 February 2019
  • Start time: 14:00
  • NRS, Northern Research Station, Bush Estate, Roslin, Scotland

Bill Mason (Forest Research)

The extensive Sitka spruce dominated forests in the British Isles represent one of the most successful examples of the use of a non-native tree species in forestry in the northern hemisphere.  In both Britain and Ireland this species accounts for over 60 per cent of timber supplies where it is typically grown in single species stands using patch clear felling systems with artificial regeneration.
There are potential risks to these forests from novel pests and diseases, not to mention long standing concerns over windthrow, coupled with the uncertain impacts of climate change. Because of these issues, there is increasing policy interest in diversifying these spruce forests to form mixed stands that theoretically should be more resilient than the prevailing monocultures. However there is little use of mixtures in operational management and guidance on how to create and manage mixtures is sparse and fragmented.
Results from FR’s long-term mixture experiments show that the productivity of the mixture can be better than predicted from pure stands of the admixed species. Other experiments indicate that admixtures with native broadleaves such as birch can be created using a group pattern of mixture which is robust to inter-species competition. These results can be used to develop guidance for conifer mixtures for British forestry and sustain delivery of ecosystem services in a changing climate.

The small print

Talks last 40 - 45 minutes with 15-20 minutes for questions and discussion, and are followed by tea and coffee.

To join via webinar you need to register: webinar link

If you are not normally based at NRS please let Evelyn.Hall@forestry.gsi.gov.uk know in advance if you would like to join us, so that we have an idea about the number of people likely to attend.