Thematic area: Harvesting and products
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From the earliest times forests have been used as a resource to sustain human existence. They have provided food, fuel and materials to build shelter and provide a safe environment in which to live. While our circumstances have changed from those early days, we still benefit from products that forests continue to provide.
The development of new technologies and changing circumstances (e.g. climate change) are providing us with opportunities for more cost effective and efficient production and harvesting of what are often regarded as traditional forest products; and also for using these in a different way. Lifestyle changes have made us aware of other non-timber products that forests can provide such as decorative foliage, wild foods and also intangible benefits such as the enhancement of our environment for recreation, biodiversity etc.
The research projects described in this section are concerned with the tangible products from forests. They deal with the adaptation of new technologies (GPS) to transport wood more efficiently to the mills; also the harvesting and processing of wood fuel, not a new product by anymeans, but a traditional forest product that is being used for the new purpose of providing carbon neutral renewable energy. Similarly, the potential for the commercial production of edible fungi, a traditional forest product in central Europe, is also being investigated as a possible new product from Irish forests.
Research programmes and projects within this thematic area:
FOREST HARVESTING AND TRANSPORT
GPSTRACK : Assessment of GPS tracking devices and associated software suitable for real time monitoring of timber haulage trucks
LOADSENSOR: Evaluation of air bag pressure sensors/gauges as load weighing devices for use on timber haulage trucks
FORESTENERGY : Harvesting and processing forest biomass for energy production in Ireland
FARMFUNGI : Production of edible fungi in the farm forest
FORESTFUNGI: Assessment of wild edible fungal production in selected Irish forest sites and an evaluation of the commercial potential of harvesting