The role of site classification in forest productivity and management
Good silvicultural decision-making and planning require knowledge of the growth of tree species across the full range forest sites in Ireland. While site classification has long been used in forestry as a means of species selection and for estimating growth and yield, no overall system has been adapted for widespread use. Soil classification has been used to estimate productivity and to aid species selection, while indicator species and vegetation type are used as secondary indicators of soil fertility.
Anderson's site classification (1950) has been used to classify the fertility class and moisture of sites, based on plant communities. It remains in use but recent years have seen growth in the use of multifactor classifications in Britain and Canada. These systems work by focusing attention on ecological site quality and its relation to the ecosystem, and can provide a sound basis for the sustainable production of wood and for the conservation of wildlife. Ecological Site Classification (ESC), currently in use in Canada and Britain, recognizes different site types according to environmental variables and provides an ecological basis for silvicultural practices, given that understanding the role of species variability in forest productivity is one of the essential elements for sustainable wood production.
In order to better understand the role and potential of site classification in the choice of tree species, site productivity and forest management, Teagasc and COFORD are holding a seminar on 4 June 2008 on the theme The role of site classification in forest productivity and management at the Tullamore Court Hotel, Co Offaly. The seminar will be addressed by invited speakers, including a number of eminent scientists in area of site classification in Ireland and abroad.
All those interested in silvicultural decision-making and planning, and forest ecology will find attendance at the seminar worthwhile.
The programme includes the following presentations (click on titles to download):
Soil classification, soil maps and their use in site classification for forestry in Ireland (pdf 1,146Kb) - Niall Farrelly, Ray Fealy and Toddy Radford (Teagasc Research)
Ecosystem site classification, principals concepts and rationale and application in forest resource management (pdf 2,028Kb) - Karel Klinka (Emeritus Professor, University of British Columbia)
Potential productivity concepts and productivity of forest tree species in Canada (pdf 2,415Kb) - Han Chen (Associate Professor, Faculty of Forestry, Lakehead University, Ontario, Canada)
Site, soil and climatic factors and the productivity of Sitka spruce in Ireland (pdf 781Kb) - Niall Farrelly (Teagasc), Ãine NÃ DhubhÃin and Maarten Nieuwenhuis (UCD)
Site factors and windthrow risk assessment (pdf 774Kb) - Ãine NÃ DhubhÃin (UCD)
The problems associated with afforestation and reforestation with reference to site factors (pdf 686Kb) - Michael Keane (Coillte)
Afforestation of cutaway midland peats with respect to site classification and species success (pdf 2,303Kb) - Florence Renou (UCD)
The impact of climate change on species selection in Ireland (pdf 2,929Kb) - Kevin Black (FERS/UCD) and Duncan Ray (Forest Commission)
The use of GIS derived estimates of topographical exposure to aid species suitability and windthrow risk in Irish forestry (pdf 863Kb) - Stuart Green (Teagasc)