Alternative models for productive upland forestry: Model 1: Biomass crops using native tree species

Andrew David Cameron, Scott Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Upland forestry in Britain is currently dominated by two management models - (a) even-aged medium-rotation plantations of predominantly Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) and (b) conservation or ecological restoration of native woodland with minimal production outputs. To meet emerging objectives and address current challenges to sustainable operation, a wider range of upland forestry management models need to be considered. Emerging objectives include mitigation of climate change by enhanced carbon sequestration and increased production of woodfuel biomass, alongside ecological restoration and enhanced rural development forestry benefits. Key challenges include impacts of predicted climate change, incidence of novel pests and diseases in existing tree species and the need to ensure a sustainable long-term relationship between forest productivity and site, soil and freshwater resources. Wider deployment of native tree species, principally birch and aspen, within Short Rotation Forestry (SRF), has the potential to achieve resilient biomass production from upland site types while securing significant benefits for landscape amenity, biodiversity conservation, soil and freshwater protection. Effective deployment should be informed by insights from an enhanced programme of operational research and
development, particularly in the fields of tree improvement, establishment and silvicultural systems, and harvesting and processing logistics. Following a recent scoping study, key requirements for such research and development efforts are discussed below.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-31
Number of pages6
JournalScottish Forestry
Volume68
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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