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Enhancing Forest Technology: Research Priorities of the Southern Forest Sector

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The southern forest sector has undergone dramatic changes over the past decade, including shifts in land ownership (from integrated forest product companies to organizations with different objectives and time horizons) and losses of forestland to development. The ability to support sustainable biomass production for traditional and emerging markets is at risk because of a decline in industry research infrastructure and because of dilution of government agency and university forest productivity research with other priorities. To assess forest productivity research priorities, a survey was distributed to integrated forest products companies, real estate investment trusts, timber investment management organizations, and consulting organizations based in the South. Environmental services were a top priority for all organization types, cited as a high or very high priority by 74% of respondents, followed by forest management (64%), improving wood quality delivered to mills (57%), and biotechnology and tree improvement (39%). The highest priority individual research needs were to quantify the potential of managed forests to sequester carbon and sustain water quality and biodiversity and to update growth and yield models to account for changing stand, genetic, management, and environmental factors. Respondents rely mostly on university cooperatives and industrial research organizations for both basic and applied/technology transfer research.
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Keywords: forest management; intensive silviculture; pine plantations

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-02-01

More about this publication?
  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Southern Journal of Applied Forestry covers an area from Virginia and Kentucky south to as far west as Oklahoma and east Texas.
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