Canadian Professor collaborates on Continuous Cover Forestry

Phil Comeau, a Professor of Silviculture from the University of Alberta, visits Forest Research to work with staff involved with continuous cover forestry (CCF).

News from Forest Research: July 2008

Continuous cover at Kyloe Woods, NorthumberlandAs a management practice, CCF avoids clearfelling and replanting, instead retaining forest cover at one or more canopy levels.

With CCF, restocking takes place beneath a forest canopy rather than in the open, so a crucial success factor is sufficient below-canopy light to enable seedling growth. Phil has been awarded the 2008 Scottish Forestry Trust fellowship to work on calculating a Stand Density Index (SDI) for Sitka spruce and Douglas fir, and to relate this to understorey light levels. The SDI is based on stocking and basal area, both of which are relatively easy to measure, making it a practical tool for forest managers who aim to optimise their forest light levels.

During his visit to Alice Holt, Forest Research staff provided Phil with data from the permanent sample plot network for his calculations of SDI of unthinned stands. He spent time at Forest Reseearch’s Northern Research Station and visited sites in Scotland, to identify thinned stands where he can make light measurements later in the year. Phil also gave a seminar on ‘Silviculture in Western Canada’, and participated in a field visit to Kyloe Wood in Northumbria.

Phil will return to Forest Research for two months in autumn 2008 to complete this study, which will complement existing work by Sophie Hale on estimating understorey light.


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This and other news stories can be found in the July 2008 issue of FR Eye, our online newsletter.