Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Silviculture Related Abstracts

3 Agriculture and Forests: A Perception of Farmers on Sustainable Agro-Ecological Practices

Authors: Kever Gomes, Rosana Martins

Abstract:

The use of environmental indicators is today an important strategy for analyzing the sustainability of agricultural systems. Despite of the considerable importance of family agriculture for Brazilian economy, sustainable agricultural practices are still weakly known, and the known ones, underused. Currently, economic aspects of the relationship between man and nature lead to the destruction of natural ecosystems, which justifies the urgent need for dissemination and usage of new sustainable production techniques. The study shows the agro-social and social-cultural trajectory of the farmers and hypothesis are advanced on what would imply the adoption of agroforestry systems in family agriculture. This study aimed to investigate aspects related to the perception of sustainable agriculture, especially on agroforestry systems in farms of farmers from Distrito Federal-Brazil. Agro-social characteristics of farmers were systematized considering their perceptions about agroforestry systems for the preparation of proposal for a program of Environmental Services Payment, intended for families who are involved in the various activities of home gardens. This study used qualitative methodological approaches of quantitative research, using descriptive exploratory research. To get the necessary elements for the intended analysis, interviews were conducted at 40 heads of households of which 15 were men and 25 women. The results were analyzed using descriptive statistics, having been considered in the analysis the frequency, consistency, coherence and originality of responses. It was found that the lack of financial resources and lack of technical assistance are limiting factors for the dissemination and use of sustainable agricultural practices. Considering the great number of species found for the main categories of use, it can be inferred that the home gardens play important functions for the interviewed families, contributing for the food and medicine production destined for the consumption by the families themselves, and also playing an important esthetic function thanks to the variety of their ornamental plants. The wealth of these home gardens may be related to the rural origin and to the culture of the owners, who still keep a cultivation tradition. It was found that the products obtained from the home gardens contributed for the diet’s variety of the informants, representing a promising potential for the improvement of the population alimentation. The study reached the conclusion over the need to motivate the interest of these farmers to seek information and resources to enable the implementation of Agroforestry projects, including the recovery of areas in their properties, even those distinct from their backyards. The study shows the agro-social and social-cultural trajectory of the farmers and hypothesis are advanced on what would imply the adoption of agroforestry systems in family agriculture.

Keywords: Urban Agriculture, Silviculture, Agro-Biodiversity, natural conservation

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2 Silviculture for Climate Change: Future Scenarios for Nigeria Forests

Authors: Azeez O. Ganiyu

Abstract:

Climate change is expected to lead to substantial changes in rainfall patterns in southwest Nigeria, and this may have substantial consequence for forest management and for conservation outcomes throughout the region. We examine three different forest types across an environmental spectrum from semi-arid to humid subtropical and consider their response to water shortages and other environmental stresses; we also explore the potential consequence for conservation and timber production by considering impacts on forest structure and limiting stand density. Analysis of a series of scenarios provides the basis for a critique of existing management practices and suggests practical alternatives to develop resilient forests with minimal diminution of production and environmental services. We specifically discuss practical silviculture interventions that are feasible at the landscape-scale, that are economically viable, and that have the potential to enhance resilience of forest stands. We also discuss incentives to encourage adoption of these approaches by private forest owners. We draw on these case studies in southwestern Nigeria to offer generic principle to assist forest researchers and managers faced with similar challenges elsewhere.

Keywords: Climate Change, Forest, Silviculture, Nigeria, future

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1 Inverted Diameter-Limit Thinning: A Promising Alternative for Mixed Populus tremuloides Stands Management

Authors: Ablo Paul Igor Hounzandji, Benoit Lafleur, Annie DesRochers

Abstract:

Introduction: Populus tremuloides [Michx] regenerates rapidly and abundantly by root suckering after harvest, creating stands with interconnected stems. Pre-commercial thinning can be used to concentrate growth on fewer stems to reach merchantability faster than un-thinned stands. However, conventional thinning methods are typically designed to reach even spacing between residual stems (1,100 stem ha⁻¹, evenly distributed), which can lead to treated stands consisting of weaker/smaller stems compared to the original stands. Considering the nature of P. tremuloides's regeneration, with large underground biomass of interconnected roots, aiming to keep the most vigorous and largest stems, regardless of their spatial distribution, inverted diameter-limit thinning could be more beneficial to post-thinning stand productivity because it would reduce the imbalance between roots and leaf area caused by thinning. Aims: This study aimed to compare stand and stem productivity of P. tremuloides stands thinned with a conventional thinning treatment (CT; 1,100 stem ha⁻¹, evenly distributed), two levels of inverted diameter-limit thinning (DL1 and DL2, keeping the largest 1100 or 2200 stems ha⁻¹, respectively, regardless of their spatial distribution) and a control unthinned treatment. Because DL treatments can create substantial or frequent gaps in the thinned stands, we also aimed to evaluate the potential of this treatment to recreate mixed conifer-broadleaf stands by fill-planting Picea glauca seedlings. Methods: Three replicate 21 year-old sucker-regenerated aspen stands were thinned in 2010 according to four treatments: CT, DL1, DL2, and un-thinned control. Picea glauca seedlings were underplanted in gaps created by the DL1 and DL2 treatments. Stand productivity per hectare, stem quality (diameter and height, volume stem⁻¹) and survival and height growth of fill-planted P. glauca seedlings were measured 8 year post-treatments. Results: Productivity, volume, diameter, and height were better in the treated stands (CT, DL1, and DL2) than in the un-thinned control. Productivity of CT and DL1 stands was similar 4.8 m³ ha⁻¹ year⁻¹. At the tree level, diameter and height of the trees in the DL1 treatment were 5% greater than those in the CT treatment. The average volume of trees in the DL1 treatment was 11% higher than the CT treatment. Survival after 8 years of fill planted P. glauca seedlings was 2% greater in the DL1 than in the DL2 treatment. DL1 treatment also produced taller seedlings (+20 cm). Discussion: Results showed that DL treatments were effective in producing post-thinned stands with larger stems without affecting stand productivity. In addition, we showed that these treatments were suitable to introduce slower growing conifer seedlings such as Picea glauca in order to re-create or maintain mixed stands despite the aggressive nature of P. tremuloides sucker regeneration.

Keywords: Silviculture, thinning, Aspen, inverted diameter-limit, mixed forest, populus tremuloides

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