Seminar - 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 of 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.

Andersonís 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, recognises 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 the 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.

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