"Silviculture, a discipline within forest science, offers a set of tools that make achievement of the forest management objectives possible. Sustainable forest management strives to maintain healthy ecosystems, improve the balance among alternative forest values and conserve biodiversity"(7).
Boreal Forests: Boreal forests, or taiga, are circumpolar in extent and occupy a belt up to 1000 km wide in certain regions. Conifers occupying boreal forests include members of the genera Picea, Abies, Pinus, and Larix. These species have different life histories with varying levels of fire, insect, and disease resistance. More importantly, these species exhibit a wide range of shade tolerance and growth characteristics, and occupy different successional positions. In general, the firs and the spruces tend to be long-lived (typically 200 yr) species (4).
So, Why choose Silviculture? My research question is trying to find out which methods of silviculture and intermediate cuttings, work best for pine trees in boreal forests worldwide. Timber from pine trees is a major source of income and is of great use to loggers/forest owners worldwide. I want to see how differences in land use can impact our nation in the future. People mismanage their lands, which can lead to increased levels of deforestation and wasted land. Many people who own forest land or who are going to purchase some, are not aware of the effects of certain management services on their forests in the long run. Mismanagement leads to the loss of money, poor soil value, and decreased acreage of a forest in the long run. I believe that land owners and business owners will find my site helpful in order to determine what to do to their land, in order to make the most profit to save a large percentage of our biodiversity.
Example of a Boreal Forest
In order to choose your Silviculture method, you must first decide whether your forest is even-aged, uneven aged, or two-aged.
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In temperate and boreal regions, the forest understorey is typically much more diverse than the woody layers. In Canadian boreal forests, species diversity generally peaked at intermediate site treatments. In Japanese beech forests, the locations that sustained an intermediate frequency of disturbance had the highest species diversity . Similarly, in Himalayan oak forest the highest plant diversity was observed at the intermediate level of disturbance (3). This reveals to us that disturbances (thinning and cuttings) can be good for the biodiversity of a forest.
Wildlife in a Boreal Forest (LINK)
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|Clearcut||Sudden and complete removal of all trees in a stand (9).|
|Seed Tree||leaving 2-10 trees per acre to replenish the forest(9).|
|Shelterwood||overstory is selectively removed in two or three operations separated by 10-20 year intervals (9) .|
|Perscribed Fire||Prescribed burning promotes natural regeneration, and several rare and endangered species benefit from burning. Suitable areas for prescribed burning are moraine regeneration cutting areas, where soil is neither too fertile nor too barren, and where the size and shape of area allow safe burning (5).|
|Pesticides||Herbicides are applied on a regular basis only within the afforestation of arable lands, whenever it is necessary to control the competing vegetation in order to ensure the survival of seedlings (5).|
Cutting down the poor quality trees and leaving high-grade trees
|Single-Tree Selection||Selecting trees to remove in a stand one by one|
|Group-Selection||Small clear cuts in certain parts of a forest that allow for sun loving trees to emerge.|
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|Removes Immediate and Supressed Trees that are located near the canopy of the forest|
|Crown Thinning||Removes dominant and co-dominant trees that are located at or above the canopy (very large trees)|
|Mechanical Thinning||This is done in some sort of mathematical or geometric way. The harvester will either cut down every other tree, every 3rd row, 5th row, etc. This thinning is done by physical location.|
|Removing only the dominant trees|
|Free Thinning||a combination of both low and crown thinning|
Frequent commercial thinnings were regarded as an important means to improve growth and value and to reduce natural mortality among pine and spruce trees in Nordic boreal forests. However, research and experience have shown that, in managed stands, foresters can decide within wide limits the amount of wood they want to harvest in the form of thinnings or final harvest. The choice of stand treatment programmes therefore depends more on economic factors, such as the price of wood assortments produced and harvesting costs (2).
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When Are conditions right to consider a clear-cut?
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|1. Different Methods of Clearcutting||R.J. Mitchell, J.K. Hiers, J.J. O’Brien, S.B. Jack, and R.T. Engstrom. Silviculture that sustains: the nexus between silviculture, frequent prescribed fire, and conservation of biodiversity in longleaf pine forests of the southeastern United States. NRC Canada 2006.||study done in order further investigate the longleaf pine and ways to preserve it in America. Different silviculture methods are examined such as prescribed fire.|
|2.Silviculture in Boreal Forests||Hagner, S. Unasylva: Silviculture in Boreal Forests. Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations. 1995.||Journal article mentions a brief history of boreal forests and how forestry is changing in order to acomplish safe biological results.|
|3. Threatened Species||Reier, Ülle; Tuvi, Eva-Liis; Pärtel, Meelis; Kalamees, Rein; Zobel, Martin. Threatened herbaceous species dependent on moderate forest disturbances: A neglected target for ecosystem-based silviculture. Taylor and Fransis 2005.||Methods of thinning and prescribed fires have helped to enhance biodiversity in certain parts of forests.|
|Graham, R. T. and T. B. Jain. 1998. Silviculture's role in managing boreal forests. Ecological Society of America to the Resilience Alliance. January 1, 2000.||Introduces what a Boreal forest is and where they are usually found. Also explains the importance of them and ways to go about using proper Silviculture to use the forests efficiently.|
|5. Biodiversity and Forests in Europe||Mielikäinen, Kari, and Jari Hynynen. "Silvicultural management in maintaining biodiversity and resistance of forests in Europe–boreal zone: case Finland." Journal of Environmental Management 67.1 (2003): 47. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 26 Apr. 2010.||Provides a journal on Silviculture practices that impact boreal forests, such as regeneration methods and thinning. Also Discusses economical and ecological impacts.|
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|6.Glossary Of Silviculture Terms||Website priovdes definitions one may need to know when considering any method of Silviculture. This site also has pictures along with the definitions to help someone who may not be familiar with any terms.||LINK|
|7.Silviculture of Southern Pine Forests||This site provides different methods used in order to better manage pine tree stands. It also explains what yellow pines are and different ways for improvement and fertilization.||LINK|
|8. Silviculture Systems||focuses on projects of high grading and cuttings in the Americas. Methods of silviculture are displayed such as, intermediate cuts, regeneration cuts, even and uneven aged cuts and other various systems||LINK|
|9. World Boreal Forests||Explains the definition of forestry, along with more methods of Silviculture. It has put together different techniques that can be used, including a list of conditions for cutting down every tree.||LINK|
|10. Even/Uneven Aged||Pictures of Silviculture used in Even and uneven aged stands of pine trees.||LINK|
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