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Research Forests provide a very special research environment and offer access to a legacy of data, putting current research results into a known environmental framework and increasing their potential.
Test results can be generated more speedily and efficiently than would otherwise be possible. New data is gathered in a well-characterised environmental framework and can be readily compared against long term trend data, allowing unexpected links and patterns to be more easily recognised.
Using existing data, such as that from long-term monitoring plots, can help strengthen research proposals, e.g. to funding bodies, and broaden research projects beyond their original scope.
In such a research environment, close collaboration enables findings to be more easily tested and fast-tracked into operational practice.
Studies can be showcased to a wide audience, i.e. the general public, highlighting the importance of forestry science through outdoor workshops and explanatory material.
Internationally, research forests have been pivotal in increasing understanding of how the forest and environment interact, as well as demonstrating the possible effects of climate change. Their findings have helped shape international policies on pollution and sustainable forest management.
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