30 June 2015 | Online since 2003

Research to discover forest trees for future climate



29 March 2012 08:40:06|Forestry,News,Renewables,Shows and Events

Research to discover forest trees for future climate


Forest Research, a part of the Forestry Commission in the UK, is taking part in international research to identify alternative tree species that could be planted in the future climate. Funded by the European Union, Project REINFFORCE is to carry out research trials of 30 tree species at 37 locations on the west Atlantic that range from the Azores in Portugal to the Isle of Mull in Scotland.

There are three trial sites in western Britain including Westonbirt, The National Arboretum in England, The Isle of Mull in Scotland and Crychan (near Llandovery) in Wales. Alongside the REINFFORCE trials, there are two Forest Research trials in eastern Britain, one at Crowthorne Forest in Berkshire, a part of Swinley Forest affected by forest fires in May 2011, and the other near Peebles in Scotland.

Forest Research, a part of the Forestry Commission and a world-leading centre of research into trees, forestry and climate change, is working alongside 11 other European partners. They are to identify species that are likely to be more resilient to pests, diseases and most likely to thrive in the warmer climates predicted as a result of climate change.

The impact of recurrent ice ages has left the British Isles with only a small number of native tree species, most of which are broadleaf. Oak, beech, ash and birch make up our native broadleaf forests and Scots pine, yew and juniper the native conifer forests. Of these Scots pine is the only native conifer which is used on a wide scale for timber production. So there is a need to identify a wider variety of coniferous species.

For centuries new tree species have been introduced for a variety of purposes, including the production of timber, so a portfolio of commercial forestry species has expanded today to include Sitka spruce, Douglas fir, larch, Corsican and lodgepole pines.

However, the last decade has seen an increase in the number of tree pests and diseases affecting these species. Diseases such as Dothistroma needle blight has damaged Corsican and lodegpole pines, Phytophthora ramorum has caused high mortality to larch and bleeding canker has spread among horse chestnut or ’conker’ trees.

The REINFFORCE Project is to help identify which alternative tree species can be planted here in Britain with the changing climate and if the existing species become at risk of pests and diseases.

Dr Hugh Williams, Head of operations at Forest Research, said:

"Despite the uncertainties surrounding climate change, it is expected to have a significant impact on our forests over this century. In southern and eastern Britain hotter, drier summers may lead to greater risk of drought stress. Conversely a warming climate may make it easier to grow species that were previously thought to be too tender for southern and western Britain."

The 30 tree species to be planted in the research include familiar trees like English oak, Scots pine, silver birch and sweet chestnut as well as less usual species such as Atlas cedar and Macedonian, Maritime and Monterey pines.

Each of 37 trial locations will contain the same 30 tree species with three seed provenances (seed sources) for each. The research is to measure survival, health, height, trunk diameter and form across a wide range of climates and soil types, as well as how the trees respond to climatic variables like temperature and water availability. The research will then help to decide which forest trees to grow in the future.

Download




Comments


No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


Start Date: 18 June 2015
Job for General Farm Worker>>Pitlochry

Working at Balachallan Home Farm, Near Tulliemet, the successful applicant will be proficient in all aspects of suckler cow h...


Start Date: 18 June 2015
Farmer in  Gorebridge, Scotland  is looking for a livestock General Farm Worker

Part time regular work 2/3 days a week [and full time in busy times (lambing, sowing, silage, hay, harvest)] which will invol...


Start Date: 20 June 2015
 Tractor Driver / General Farm Worker for 1200ac, all arable farm. Job near  Ripon, Yorkshire

Requirement is for a Harvest Worker for corn carting, straw carting, cultivations, manure spreading and usual ancillary work ...


Start Date: 16 June 2015
Permanent job for Herdsman >>Gloucestershire<<

Family dairy farm with 130 cows Autumn calving British Friesian crossed Holsteins. Needs a Herdsman to help with all aspects ...


Start Date: 11 June 2015
Permanent Herdsperson Position - Job on Dairy farm near Swindon 

A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a herdsperson to join an established team on a high yielding herd near Swindon with an...





Top stories you may have missed
5 June 2015 | Cattle

A strong pound and increased red meat imports coupled with a plentiful dome...


5 June 2015 | Arable

Depression is affecting Wales' farming industry and there is a need to use ...


5 June 2015 | Arable

With just one week to go before the final judging and announcement of the w...


5 June 2015 | Finance

A rural law expert has highlighted the importance of good succession planni...


5 June 2015 | Farmshops

A south Yorkshire dairy farming family is pulling out all the stops to prom...


4 June 2015 | Finance

Predicting what is going to happen to wheat prices is a challenge, but in s...


4 June 2015 | Agri Safety

A Lancashire based livestock theft prevention scheme is aiming to go nation...


4 June 2015 | News

A female farmer has been recognised by the farming and conservation industr...


4 June 2015 | Finance

The new Conservative government appears to be preparing to implement cuts f...


4 June 2015 | Arable

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) will have mobile support units at the follo...