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Research Strategies for Increasing Productivity of Intensively Managed Forest Plantations

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Intensive management practices increase productivity of forest plantations by reducing site, stand, and biological limitations to dry matter production and by maximizing the allocation of production to harvestable tree components. The resulting increase allows greater fiber production from a smaller land base and provides market incentives to keep these lands under forest use. The Southeast and Pacific Northwest contain the largest area of intensively managed plantations in the United States, with smaller pockets in the Midwest and other regions. Projected increases in US planted forest area are among the highest of any world region but maximum tree growth rates and returns on forestry investments are lower than those in South America. Addressing four critical information needs may help ensure that planted forests remain a competitive timber resource and sustainable land use in the United States: (1) improved capacity for understanding and predicting responses to intensive management; (2) technology for sustaining productivity, particularly under intensive biomass harvest; (3) expansion of silvicultural research networks to examine responses across a variety of sites; and (4) improved technology transfer to a broader range of landowners.

Keywords: biomass; fiber production; intensive silviculture; plantation forestry

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.
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