Summary of Research
Successful regeneration is fundamental for sustainable woodland management in the UK. Regeneration is therefore an essential prerequisite for a wide range of Forestry Commission policy objectives, and this programme provides a vital source of scientifically backed expertise in this area. New challenges for the practice of regeneration are posed in particular by climate change and the emergence of new pests and diseases, but also by increasing interest in continuous cover forestry; natural regeneration; restoration; woodland expansion; and by changes to policy, legislation and certification.
To reflect these challenges the key objective for this research programme is - adapting forest regeneration to increase resilience to climate change and biotic threats, whilst maintaining productivity.
This objective will be delivered through 3 work areas with their own key aims:
- Seed and seedling biology - determining how projected changes in seasonal temperature and rainfall will affect regeneration of key trees species in different parts of Britain.
- Integrated forest vegetation management and the sustainable use of pesticides - maintaining the availability of pesticides as strategic tools for dealing with damaging pests, diseases and weeds, given the implementation of new pesticides regulations, the need to reduce pesticide inputs and identify non chemical alternatives, and the evolution of new biosecurity threats that may be exacerbated by climate change.
- Regeneration systems - investigating how to adapt future regeneration systems to be more resilient to climate change, whilst maintaining productivity.