Forest Science Seminar Series 2014-15
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Where to meet?

Northern Research Station, Roslin

Do I need to book?

Open to the public please contact Evelyn Hall to attend

A series of free talks covering a variety of topical forestry-related research subjects. Also available as live webinars.

16th December 2014 -Jack Lonsdale

A flexible modelling framework for combining a growth model with LiDAR derived inventory to reduce uncertainty

(Also advertised as: “Developing a stand model for Sitka spruce and Scots pine which allows data assimilation of LiDAR data using bayesian calibration”)

The Stand Level Dynamic Growth (SLeDG) model allows the forecast of any stand based on its current state as measured by top height, number of stems and basal area. A Bayesian calibration of the SLeDG model for Sitka spuce and Scots pine will be presented and discussed. The uncertainty outputs from the Bayesian calibration have also been useful in demonstrating the combination of model and observation in a  data assimilation of LiDAR data from Aberfoyle, which will also be presented. 
Webinar link 

30th January 2015 - Roland Ennos

Physical benefits of trees in towns

It is well known that urban trees confer several benefits to the environment of cities. They cool people down by shading them, reduce the urban heat island, help prevent surface flooding, and reduce particulate pollution. However, there is little information about just how great those benefits are. This talk describes experimental work we have undertaken to quantify the physical benefits of trees and suggests the needs for future research.
Webinar link:

27th February 2015 - Heiko Balzter

Radar and Lidar remote sensing of forest structure

The talk introduces LiDAR and Radar remote sensing principles, including the imaging process, geometric properties and physical processes, and presents a range of applications of these airborne and spaceborne systems for forest monitoring and forest inventory.

Webinar link:

20th March 2015 - Richard Buggs

The application of genomics to conservation and improvement of British broad-leaved trees

Genomic technologies have the potential to inform the conservation and improvement of tree species. Broad-leaved trees are particularly amenable to genomic research, as they generally have smaller genomes than conifers. In a conservation context, my research group is examining the genetic structure of nationally scarce Betula nana populations in Britain, and hybridisation among B. nana, B. pendula and B. pubescens. In a tree improvement context, we are seeking the genetic basis of ash dieback tolerance in the genus Fraxinus. I will outline these research programmes and comment on future prospects.

Webinar link:

30th March 2015 - Dr. Somidh SAHA

Establishing quality oak stands: practical lessons learned from European oak cluster planting trials

There has been much debate in European forestry about the influence of tree spacing upon the quality of broadleaved trees, especially in valuable timber trees such as oaks. Traditional recommendations of planting about 5000-10000 trees per hectare are expensive, while lower densities result in a loss of long-term quality because of heavy branching and poor form. Some recently completed research in central Europe provides valuable information on this issue. In particular, it shows that planting oaks in groups of 20-30 trees at tight spacing (about 1m between trees) and planting around 100 of these groups per hectare can be a cost-effective way of providing the close initial spacing necessary for producing quality stems for long-term timber production. The results of this research are very relevant to current initiatives to improve of broadleaved timber trees being grown in Scotland.

Webinar access

24th April 2015 - Jeremy Phillipson *CANCELLED*

Future of Rural Expertise

15th May 2015 - Emma Sheehy

The case of the American grey squirrel and the European pine marten in Ireland, and an update on research in Scotland

The red squirrel population in the midlands of Ireland is experiencing a recovery as a result of declining grey squirrel numbers, following the recovery of the native pine marten. The grey squirrel in Ireland has experienced a population crash in more than 9,000km2 of its former range over the last 15 years as the pine marten’s recovery has progressed. Indeed, the negative association between the two species is so marked that it is concluded that their distributions in Ireland are inextricably linked. However, the mechanism behind the grey squirrel population crash remains unclear, and it is not known whether it is the direct or indirect effects of predation which are influencing squirrel distribution patterns. A new study based at the University of Aberdeen, and funded by the Irish Research Council, Marie Curie and Forestry Commission Scotland aims to answer several key questions about the relationship between all three species. Not least, whether a similar phenomenon to that which has occurred in Ireland may also be taking place in parts of Scotland. Preliminary results from the first field season will be discussed.
Webinar link:



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