Forest GALES: A wind risk decision support tool for forest management in Britain
Bruce Nicoll, Sophie Hale, Barry Gardiner, Andrew Peace, Bill Rayner, Juan Suarez, Stephen Bathgate, Mark Brady.
Wind damage is a major challenge for the management of forests in Britain, and it has economic, environmental and social consequences. In some areas the threat of wind damage restricts silvicultural options and leads to the use of shortened rotations, giving lower income from timber sales. In order to minimise risk, forest managers need information on the likely timing and magnitude of damage so that they are able to predict the level of risk and assess the implications of different management options. Forest GALES draws together more than 30 years of knowledge and research into a user-friendly decision support tool that will enable forest managers to estimate the probability of wind damage to conifer stands in Britain. The software calculates the wind speed that would be expected to damage a stand of trees and it provides windiness scores (DAMS) for the whole of Britain. It assesses the current level of risk of overturning and stem breakage, and the change in risk over the lifetime of the crop, in addition to assessing the effect on risk of thinning and the creation of brown edges. Forest GALES is able to calculate the risk to any number of stands simultaneously.
For more information about Forest GALES go to: www.forestry.gov.uk/forestgales
£50 + VAT