TranSSFor Project

Transsfor1

TranSSFor Project Logo 2017

The Transformation of Sitka Spruce stands to Continuous Cover Forestry

Two research projects have now been dedicated to promoting greater understanding and confidence in CCF in Ireland. The first of these was the COFORD-funded “Low Impact Silvicultural Systems (LISS) in Ireland” project, led by University College Dublin (UCD), which ran from 2010-2014. This began the process of filling knowledge gaps and resulted in a series of reports and publications (see References below). This work is now being taken forward through a 5-year Teagasc-funded project (2017-2022) titled “Transformation of Sitka spruce stands to continuous cover forestry” – the TranSSFor project. Partners include Teagasc Forestry Development Department and UCD Forestry. 

Project Objectives

The focus of the TranSSFor project is a study of thinning in mid-rotation Sitka spruce stands being transformed to continuous cover forests. Experimental sites are located at two locations in Ireland, with “low”, “crown” and “graduated thinning” treatments. The study was initiated in 2010 and thinning took place in 2011 and 2014. In  2018/19 we plan to complete the third thinning, and evaluate the development of the stand and individual trees.  

Several research objectives have been identified for the TranSSFor thinning study:

  1. To further investigate the impact of two thinning treatments (graduated density thinning and crown thinning), relative to the control low thinning treatment, on the transformation of pure Sitka spruce stands to CCF after the third thinning intervention.
  2. To provide an assessment of various stand parameters, including the potential stand stability, impact on diversity and canopy cover, tree and stand increment, and production and economics of using alternative thinning regimes; and use data for modelling future stand development.
  3. To deliver training and research on human decision-making factors, related to tree-marking and prescriptions design in stands undergoing transformation to CCF.

In addition to the thinning study, data will be evaluated from the three Norway spruce and Sitka spruce research stands set up and managed by the Irregular Silviculture Network (ISN). These stands are in operational forests and are monitored using the inventory protocol devised by AFI (Association Futaie Irrégulière) (see Susse et al. 2011). All three stands have been measured twice; analysis will focus on how management in these stands has influenced the development of an irregular stand structure.

Project Team 

The project team includes: Ted Wilson (UCD/Teagasc, Walsh Fellow), Dr. Áine Ní Dhubháin (UCD, supervisor), Dr. Ian Short (Teagasc, supervisor) and Paddy Purser (PTR Ltd., adviser). The project builds on earlier work (2010-2014) by Dr. Lucie Vitková, currently a Researcher at the Department of Forest Management, Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic.

Research Assistants

The TranSSFor Project is pleased to offer research and work experience opportunities to early-career foresters and timber engineers interested in silvicultural science. Thus far, 14 students from Ireland, Scotland, England, France, Poland and Canada have joined the research team. Five dissertations have been successfully completed (UCD, Toronto, Aberdeen and Krakow). In academic session 2019-20, a further two new projects are taking place (Aberdeen and UCD).  The field-work team in summer 2019 brought together foresters/engineers from France, Scotland and Ireland. If you are interested in being part of the TranSSFor, please get in touch. We can offer research and work placements for one week or more, mostly working at one of the research sites and contributing to the project. This is especially relevant for anyone interested in obtaining forest research and measurement skills. 

The TranSSFor project team for summer 2019. Left to right, Mallaury Vagelli (timber engineering, University of Lorraine), Fraser Wight (environmental and forest management, University of Aberdeen), Ted Smith (forestry, UCD) and Ted Wilson (Walsh Fellow, silviculture, Teagasc/UCD).

The TranSSFor project team for summer 2019. Left to right, Mallaury Vagelli (timber engineering, University of Lorraine), Fraser Wight (environmental and forest management, University of Aberdeen), Ted Smith (forestry, UCD) and Ted Wilson (Walsh Fellow, silviculture, Teagasc/UCD).

Publications

TranSSFor2   TranSSFor1 TranSSFor3
Forestry and Energy Review
Vol 8, Issue 1, Spring 2018
CCFG Newsletter 
Issue 38, Spring 2018
Conference Poster 
Woodlands of Ireland Conference 
30 April 2018
Forestry Journal 
Issue 288, August 2018
FER2019
LATEST
Forestry and Energy Review

Vol 9, Issue 2, Autumn/Winter 2019

Knowledge Sharing Events

  • FORTHCOMING Wilson, E. R., I. Short, Á. Ní Dhubháin and P. Purser. 2019. Transformation of Sitka spruce stands to continuous cover forestry: the TranSSFor thinning study. Knowledge dissemination event, Fossyhill Forest, Co. Laois, Ireland. Laois Farm Forestry Group. 23 September 2019. 
  • Wilson, E. R., I. Short, Á. Ní Dhubháin and P. Purser. 2019. Comparison of three thinning regimes in Sitka spruce stands to promote structural diversity and timber quality. Swiss Forest Lab Summer School, Davos, Switzerland. 18-24 August 2019. 
  • Wilson, E. R., I. Short, Á. Ní Dhubháin, P. Purser and P. O’Tuama. 2019. Comparison of three thinning treatments in Sitka spruce stands under transformation to continuous cover forestry, Fossyhill, Co. Laois, Ireland. AGM and Forest Visit. Association of Irish Forestry Consultants. 29 May 2019. 
  • Wilson, E. R., I. Short, Á. Ní Dhubháin, P. Purser and P. O’Tuama. 2019. Transformation of Sitka spruce stands to continuous cover forestry: the TranSSFor thinning study. Knowledge dissemination event, Ballycullen, Co. Wicklow, Ireland. Pro Silva Ireland Open Forest Day. 27 April 2019. 
  • Wilson, E. R., I. Short, Á. Ní Dhubháin and P. Purser. 2019. Continuous cover forestry. Invited Lecture, Laois Farm Forestry Group, AGM, Abbeyleix, Co. Laois, Ireland. 24 January 2019.
  • Ní Dhubháin, Á., and E. R. Wilson. 2019. Alternatives to clearfell. Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), All Ireland Woody Plant Seminar, Armagh, Northern Ireland. 15 January 2019.
  • Wilson, E. R., P. O’Tuama, I. Short, Á. Ní Dhubháin and P. Purser. 2018. Transformation of Sitka spruce stands to continuous cover forestry: the TranSSFor thinning study. Knowledge dissemination event, Fossyhill Forest, Co. Laois, Ireland. Silviculture Study Visit, Waterford Institute of Technology. 19 November 2018. 
  • Wilson, E. R., I. Short, Á. Ní Dhubháin and P. Purser. 2018. Transformation of Sitka spruce stands to continuous cover forestry: the TranSSFor thinning study. Knowledge dissemination event, Ballycullen, Co. Wicklow, Ireland. Silviculture Study Visit, UCD Forestry, School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin. 2 November 2018. 
  • Wilson, E. R., I. Short, Á. Ní Dhubháin and P. Purser. 2018. Transforming Sitka spruce plantations to continuous cover forestry in Ireland. Pro Silva Bohemica Workshop, Exemplary Forest Units of Uneven-aged Forestry within the Forest District of Kocanda, Czech Republic. 25-26 October 2018.
  • Wilson, E. R., I. Short, Á. Ní Dhubháin and P. Purser. 2018. ​Which tree to cut, which tree to leave? A qualitative analysis of foresters’ decision-making processes in continuous cover forests. Qualitative Research Group Seminar, Teagasc, Ashtown Research Centre, Dublin, Ireland. 20 September 2018. 
  • Wilson, E. R., I. Short, Á. Ní Dhubháin, P. Purser and J. Spazzi. 2018. Tree Marker Training for Continuous Cover Forestry. Short Course. Fossyhill Forest, Co Laois, Ireland. 20 June 2018.
  • Wilson, E., I. Short, Á. Ní Dhubháin and P. Purser. 2018. Transformation of Sitka spruce stands to continuous cover forestry: comparison of three thinning treatments. Conference Poster. National Forestry Conference: The Importance of Forestry in the Bio-economy. Johnstown House Hotel, Enfield, Co. Meath, Ireland, 30 May 2018. [view pdfpdficon_small or SlideShare
  • Wilson, E., I. Short, Á. Ní Dhubháin and P. Purser. 2018. Transformation of Sitka spruce stands to continuous cover forestry: comparison of three thinning treatments. Conference Poster. Woodlands of Ireland Conference, Delgany, Co. Wicklow, Ireland, 30 April 2018. [view pdfpdficon_small or SlideShare
  • *Wilson, E. R., I. Short, Á. Ní Dhubháin and P. Purser. 2018. Comparison of three thinning treatments in Sitka spruce stands under transformation to continuous cover forestry. State Forest Services Silviculture Working Group, Field Meeting, Fossyhill, Co. Laois, Ireland. 16 May 2018. 
  • *Wilson, E. R., I. Short, Á. Ní Dhubháin and P. Purser. 2018. A continuous cover forestry approach to managing productive Sitka spruce stands. University College Dublin, Forests, Climate and Carbon Field Visit, Dooary Forest, Co. Laois, Ireland. 23 March 2018. 
  • *Wilson, E. R. 2018. Transformation of even-aged conifer stands to continuous cover forests. Guest Lecture. School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland. 30 January 2018. 
  • Wilson, E. R., I. Short and Á. Ní Dhubháin. 2017. Thinning your forest: theory and practice. Ballycullen Field Visit, UCD Forestry, School of Agriculture and Food Science, UCD, Dublin, Ireland. 3 November 2017.

Theses and Dissertations

  • Dan Root – Master of Forest Conservation, University of Toronto, Canada (2018).
  • John Sergison – BSc (Hons) Forestry, University of Aberdeen, Scotland (2019).  
  • Colm Gardner – BAgrSc (Forestry)(Hons), University College Dublin, Ireland (2019).
  • Andrzej Owczorz – BSc Forestry Engineering, University of Agriculture, Krakow, Poland (2019).
  • Michael Smith – BAgrSc (Forestry)(Hons), University College Dublin, Ireland (2020 – in progress).
  • Fraser Wight – BSc (Hons) Environmental and Forest Management, University of Aberdeen, Scotland (2020 – in progress).   

Project Links

Wider News about Continuous Cover Forestry 

Related Resources on Irish Forestry 

Background Publications and Information

  • Morgan, P., and E. R. Wilson. 2013. The AFI Network: monitoring continuous cover forests in Europe. Society of American Foresters National Convention 2013 – Silviculture Matters! North Charleston, South Carolina, USA, 23-27 October 2013. [view pdf] pdficon_small or SlideShare
  • Sanchez, C. 2017. Pro Silva silviculture: guidelines on continuous cover forestry/close to nature forestry management practices. Forêt Wallonne, Namur, Belgium. 64 p. Link here
  • Susse, R., et al. 2011. Management of irregular forests: developing the full potential of the forest. Association Futaie Irrégulière, Besançon, France. 144 p.
  • Vitková, L., and Á. Ní Dhubháin. 2013. Transformation to continuous cover forestry: a review. Irish Forestry 70(1/2): 119-140 Link here
  • Vitková, L., Á. Ní Dhubháin, P. Ó’Tuama and P. Purser. 2013. The practice of continuous cover forestry in Ireland. Irish Forestry 70(1/2): 141-156 Link here
  • Vitková, L., Á. Ní Dhubháin and V. Upton. 2014. Forestry professionals’ attitudes and beliefs in relation to, and understanding of continuous cover forestry. Scottish Forestry 68(3): 17-25
  • Wilson, E. R., and P. Morgan. 2013. Long-term research in uneven-aged silviculture at Glentress Forest, Scotland. Society of American Foresters National Convention 2013 – Silviculture Matters. North Charleston, South Carolina, USA, 23-27 October 2013. [view pdf] pdficon_small or SlideShare
  • Helliwell, D. R., and E. R. Wilson. 2012. Continuous cover forestry in Britain: challenges and opportunitiesQuarterly Journal of Forestry 106(3): 214-224
  • Wilson, E. R., H. W. McIver and D. C. Malcolm. 1999. Transformation to irregular structure of an upland conifer forestForestry Chronicle 75(3): 407-412
UCD Forestry, UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science, Dublin

UCD Forestry, UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science, Dublin, Ireland.

Teagasc Ashtown Research Centre, Ashtown, Dublin.

Teagasc Research Centre, Ashtown, Dublin, Ireland.

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