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A summary of the variables monitored at this site can be found here.




Date of installation 12/09/2002
Planting year 1880
Main tree species Oak
Other tree species present in plot Sessile and Pedunculate Oak (Quercus petraea (75 %) and Quercus robur (25 %)
Forest type Plantation
Sylvicultural system Stored oak coppice
Tree density 530 trees/ha
Biomass/volume 249 m3/ha (2004)
Basal area 36 m2/ha (2004)
Local Yield Class 2
Plot dimensions 0.39 ha
Altitude 70 – 76 m a.s.l
Mean slope 8 – 28%
Geology Acid igneous
Topography Site tends to vary from flat to gentle slope with rocky outcrops
Aspect South, South West
Rainfall 2200 mm
Provisional soil type (FAO 1988)  

Surrounding habitat



Management history

The management history of the Ardtornish plot can only be described in as far as what is known in general terms about the Atlantic oakwoods of western Scotland. Traditionally, the upland native woodlands of this region were used to shelter low numbers of livestock (usually cattle) and today there are frequently high numbers of sheep and cattle as well as deer.

Upland Atlantic oakwoods were also known to have been used intensively in the past for the production of charcoal, tanbark and timber with a peak in activity occurring around 1800AD, followed by a decline in management and eventual neglect. Many stands were planted and coppiced only once or twice, leaving poorly developed root systems and small crowned coppice stems. Some stands were subsequently stored to promote high forest whilst others have been left to naturally self-single.

Age ranges are now highly artificial (generally between 110 and 150 years) and stand structure is typically very uniform (see Peterken & Worrell, 2001). At the Ardtornish plot there is clear evidence of coppicing on old planted oak of 100-150 years.


Peterken, G.F. and Worrell, R. (2001). Conservation management of the Sunart Oakwoods SAC and the potential for supporting rural development. Report for Caledonian Partnership for the Life ’97 project.

Integrated forest monitoring
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Integrated forest monitoring