ForestGALES 2.5 is now available for download.
The current version is ForestGALES 2.5, which is the upgrade to ForestGALES 2.1 and replaces all previous versions of the ForestGALES software, incorporating research done since the last upgrade. The main changes are:
Damage is less likely to be predicted
Users' experience indicated that ForestGALES 2.1 tended to predict more damage than was observed. A comparison with actual storm damage, and ongoing research into the science of wind risk in forests, has supported this. As a result, in ForestGALES 2.5 the estimated critical wind speeds for damage are higher, and stands are now predicted to be less at risk of damage.
Change to inputs
In ForestGALES 2.5, the effects of cultivation and drainage on anchorage have been combined and replaced by rooting depth. A Soil and Rooting Helper is provided to help users decide on the correct combination of soil and rooting for a given site.
Crown size calculations
The calculations of crown size within ForestGALES have been revised and are now based on a much larger data set than before. For most species this makes little difference. Crown size calculations are substantially improved for western hemlock, Douglas-fir and lodgepole pine.
ForestGALES 2.5 has a Research mode which has added features that make ForestGALES more flexible for research users. Species-specific external parameter files make it easier to alter parameters such as crown relationships or anchorage coefficients. New species can also be added. Weibull parameters describing the wind regime can be entered directly rather than being calculated from DAMS. A wide range of outputs is now optionally saved to a file.