When one thinks of forests, the immediate thought is most likely of trees. That makes sense.
But forests and trees don’t exist in isolation. Things that affect – and are affected by – forests range from human activities to climate; from water and soils to insects and disease and from economics to forest products, to name just a few.
With that in mind, the IUFRO 2015-2019 Strategy focuses on five research themes: Forests, Soil and Water Interactions; Forests for People; Forests and Climate Change; Forests and Forest-based products for a Greener Future; and Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Biological Invasions. Read more…
Sharing Knowledge to Rebuild Tropical Forests and Landscapes
Tropical forests contain a huge amount of biological diversity, play a key role in human health, offer a vast array of ecosystem services and have become central to global debates on climate change.
But extensive deforestation and degradation are causing a significant decline in the biological diversity and the ecosystem goods and services provided by them. And, in many African countries there is a notable connection between degradation and the inability of decision makers – and the larger society – to access existing scientific knowledge and innovations that could help reverse the impacts of forest degradation. Read more…
Eschew obfuscation! Um, wait. Let me rephrase that…
We all know that.
Those research findings can be used to contribute to the sustainable management of forests, to the health and wellbeing of forest ecosystems and, on a grand scale, to the overall health of our planet and the organisms – including humans – that exist here. (And, from a researcher’s self-interest perspective, the more people who understand the importance of the research, the more potential for continued funding.) Read more…
Forests: Food for thought – and nourishment
A report that analyses the complicated, intertwined and often oppositional philosophies, land uses and governance regimes that comprise the forest-food nexus, will help inform deliberations as the United Nations Forum on Forests develops a 15-year roadmap for international forest policy.
At the heart of the new report is the understanding that forests and trees cannot, by themselves, replace the role of agriculture, but they are critically important to food security and nutrition.
Supersites for Superior Forest Science
The initiative for establishing Supersites for forest research is only a few years old.
In these supersites, sophisticated, state-of-the-art instruments are used and a multitude of factors in the ecosystem is to be measured to obtain baseline data. As examples: spectrometers will measure how trees absorb and scatter light; laser scanners will map the forest’s three-dimensional structure; soil, plant and atmospheric sciences will be integrated; and mechanistic and policy-oriented modeling will be part of the concept. Read more…
American Indian forestry: blending science and tradition
For thousands of years, American Indians have been managing the forests in which they live.
Today, with trained professionals who are tribal members, their forests are managed with modern tools and methods; include manufacturing facilities and address global forest issues such as climate change, forest certification, carbon sequestration and a changing work force.
Genes the means to screen future forest scene
Forest ecosystem restoration is a critical component in tackling climate change, combatting biodiversity loss and desertification, and for providing products and services that support livelihoods at a local level.
For those reasons, restoring and rehabilitating forests and degraded lands will be one of the major environmental challenges of this century.
But, as a recent thematic study coordinated by Bioversity International, a IUFRO Member Organization, for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – Genetic Considerations in Ecosystem Restoration Using Native Tree Species – notes, there is more to forest restoration than simply planting trees.
To manage forests sustainably – think synergy
The title of the publication, produced by the IUFRO Special Project on World Forests, Society and Environment (IUFRO-WFSE), is Forests Under Pressure – Local Responses to Global Issues.
Mixed species growth predictions made easy – well, easier
A recent study indicates why it is difficult to predict how mixed-species forests or plantations will grow, but makes those predictions easier by discussing the processes that drive changes over space and time in species interactions.
Since tree species mixtures are regarded as one of the most important approaches to reduce the risks to forests posed by global change, the study’s conclusions will be of interest to forest managers or policy makers using mixed-species forests or plantations.
Entitled The spatial and temporal dynamics of species interactions in mixed-species: From pattern to process, the study is by Dr. David Forrester, Chair of Silviculture, Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources, Freiburg University.
Got a question? Biomass may be the answer
It’s just possible that sustainable biomass could be, if not a panacea for the world’s energy challenges, then perhaps the next best thing.
And not only the energy sector would benefit. The reasons for the sustainable use of biomass are many and good, says Dr Viktor Bruckman of the Commission for Interdisciplinary Ecological Studies at the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
In addition to the energy aspect, he adds that biomass offers a range of possibilities as a valuable feedstock for industrial processes. Chemical compounds in biomass can be separated and rearranged to produce everything from composites for use in the automobile industry, to fibres to pesticide ingredients, among others.