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Enhancing Forest Value Productivity through Fiber Quality

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Developing markets for carbon storage and bioenergy, shifting of the pulp and paper industry to biorefineries, and the potential of new technologies present the forest sector with exciting transformative opportunities and challenges. One of these challenges will be to understand the implications for fiber (wood) quality. This article provides a definitional context for fiber quality; examines traditional visual qualitative assessment methods and changes that are producing a shift toward methods to quantitatively measure properties; and briefly reviews the effects of age, silviculture, genetics, soil, climate, and location. With this background, the following four fiber quality research gap areas are identified: (1) poor understanding of the relationships between the properties of wood across various scales and their effect on product performance; (2) lack of understanding of how physiological processes, genetics, silviculture treatments, and growing environment conditions affect properties of wood at different scales; (3) the weak scientific infrastructure to address gaps 1 and 2; and (4) the lack of models that integrate fiber quality into decision support systems that can be used to improve planning of investment, silviculture, harvest, and marketing activities. To address these gaps, it is suggested that a lead organization be formed to define and set priorities, establish funding, and organize and oversee the research program.

Keywords: fiber quality; productivity; silviculture; wood quality

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.476
    Ranking: 22 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Forest Science
    Other SAF Publications
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