Transformation to continuous cover forestry - a review.

  • Lucie Vitkova UCD Forestry, UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science, Belfield, Dublin 4.
  • Áine Ní Dhubháin UCD Forestry, UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science, Belfield, Dublin 4.
Keywords: Silvicultural systems, stand structure, economics, stability, biodiversity, climate change.


Continuous cover forestry (CCF) is an approach to forest management that is gaining increasing attention. Although not a new concept, a number of developments have prompted a renewed consideration of this approach. These have centred on societal concerns about the negative impacts of clearfelling as well as broader societal expectations of multi-purpose management of forests. With renewed interest in CCF, the process of transforming even-aged stands that are currently managed under the clear-cut system to CCF has begun in a number of countries. The objective of this paper is to present a review of the scientific literature on transformation to CCF. The review is organised according to a series of questions that address the issue of transformation; i.e. where and when is it appropriate to consider transformation; how long does the transformation process take; and what are the drivers to transformation. The review concludes with a brief overview of existing long-term transformation trials in the UK. The review of the literature identified that there was a limited number of papers on the topic of transformation and most of these emanated from the UK and Central Europe. For this reason the review was expanded to include literature on the starting point and end result of transformation which is typically (although not exclusively) an even-aged (regular) structure and an uneven-aged (irregular) structure respectively. The most common themes in the transformation literature concerned the structure of stands being transformed and the initial stages of the transformation process.
How to Cite
Vitkova, L. and Ní Dhubháin, Áine (2013) “Transformation to continuous cover forestry - a review.”, Irish Forestry, pp. 119-140. Available at: (Accessed: 29May2024).

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