The potential impact of intensification on forest productivity under different climate change scenarios.

  • Alba Cabrera Berned UCD Forestry, School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4.
  • Marteen Nieuwenhuis UCD Forestry, School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4.
Keywords: Growfor, CLIMADAPT, Sitka spruce, intensive forest management, climate change.

Abstract

The intensification of forest management, using fast-growing species well-adapted to future climate conditions is seen as a solution to guarantee a sustainable increase in the domestic timber production, while avoiding or minimising any risks associated with climate change. This paper reports on the findings of a research project that assessed the productivity of Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) on a range of site types under different climate change scenarios and stand density control methods (i.e. planting spacings and thinning intensities). To this end, an integrated approach was developed through a link between the Irish dynamic yield models (Growfor) and the CLIMADAPT software, the Irish Ecological Site Classification System. The results show that Sitka spruce is likely to produce yield class 14 or greater in most of Ireland by the end of the century, although its growth rate is expected to decrease in many parts of the country, especially in the south-east and some areas in the western regions, and alternative species may have to be used there. In general terms, stands planted at close spacings (1.7 m square) and thinned at light intensities (60-80% of marginal thinning intensity (MTI)), using a 5-year thinning cycle, would produce the greatest volume. When the management objective was to maximise the profitability rather than yield, applying light thinning intensities (up to the MTI) and planting a 3-m square was the best approach.
Published
2017-12-20
How to Cite
Cabrera Berned, A., & Nieuwenhuis, M. (2017). The potential impact of intensification on forest productivity under different climate change scenarios. Irish Forestry. Retrieved from https://journal.societyofirishforesters.ie/index.php/forestry/article/view/10817
Section
Articles