This section provides an overview of the planned project work.
1. Knowledge Transfer
Dr. Ian Short
- Share research and methods with interested parties.
- Share information and results with key stakeholders;
- Receive input from interested and expert persons.
- Share the results through videos, articles, field days, excursions, presentations and workshops.
- Discover some events where ContinuFOR was featured.
2. Status and potential of CCF in Ireland
Dr. John Devaney
- Estimate the area of forest currently undergoing transformation to CCF;
- Estimate the forest area suitable for transformation to CCF;
- Identify the drivers and barriers to CCF adoption.
- Provide an updated benchmark of the extent and condition of CCF stands in Ireland;
- Assess stakeholder perceptions and goals regarding CCF;
- Estimate the area of Sitka spruce plantations suitable for conversion to CCF.
- Questionnaire for Irish forest managers;
- Existing national forest datasets;
- GIS data on forest, land, and climate features.
3. Evaluation of CCF transformation methods
Dr. Ian Short
- Estimate likely stem form and mechanical properties from CCF forests for three management options;
- Compare understorey light levels to management options and subsequent natural regeneration.
- Measurement of existing field trials before thinning using non-destructive testing (NDT) tools and ranking stem form;
- Understorey species survey for abundance and diversity, alongside light condition.
4. Evaluation and calibration of CCF growth models
Prof. Maarten Nieuwenhuis
- Single tree growth models provide the only feasible approach to project the growth of forests under irregular stand management;
- Existing single tree models need to be evaluated and calibrated for use in CCF stands in Ireland.
- Assess a range of existing single tree models to forecast growth in CCF stands in Ireland;
- Collate and assess available data sources;
- Evaluate and calibrate two single tree models;
- Evaluate and prioritise potential model extensions.
- Review existing single-tree growth models;
- Collate available data from Irish CCF forests/plots;
- By cross validation with the data available, two models, one distance dependent and one distance independent, will be assessed;
- Use the outcome of the cross-validation process to evaluate potential improvements (e.g. regeneration sub-model) of the selected models.
5. Multifunctionality of CCF
Dr. John Devaney
- Investigate the services CCF forests provide that are above and beyond the production of wood. These include biodiversity, carbon sequestration, and climate resilience.
- Determine how transformation to CCF impacts biodiversity, carbon sequestration, and resilience to abiotic and biotic damage.
- Carbon pools estimated using the National Forest Inventory approach;
- Use existing national forest datasets on tree damage and forest management histories;
- Understorey vegetation surveys across a network of CCF sites.
6. Financial analysis of transformation
Prof. Aine Ni Dhubhain
- A financial comparison of the costs and benefits (focussing on timber production and carbon dynamics) will be conducted using existing data from experimental plots and stands being transformed to CCF.
- Analyse financial performance of experimental plots and demonstration stands being transformed to CCF;
- Simulate the further development (and associated economics) of the experimental stands;
- Analyse the carbon dynamics associated with different approaches to transforming stands to CCF;
- Investigate the short and long-term challenges and benefits to the processing sector of a change of a change towards CCF.
- Use ContinuFOR data from earlier tasks to calculate costs and revenues for different approaches to transforming stands to CCF;
- Use the calibrated growth models developed in Task 4 to simulate the further development (and associated economics and carbon dynamics) of the experimental stands described in Task 3;
- Conduct a survey of sawmillers and forest contractors to determine their views around increasing the area of forests managed under CCF.