8.03.06 - Impact of wind on forests


Barry Gardiner, France


Amanda Bunce, United States

Kana Kamimura, Japan

Dirk Schindler, Germany

About Unit

This group of international researchers (recently renumbered from 8.01.11 to 8.03.06) focuses on the mechanics of wind interactions with trees, the biology of acclimative growth, and the ecological impacts of wind on forest ecosystems. Our members work together on collaborative projects, many of which focus on the development of process models for tree and stand-level windthrow risk prediction. We hold a three-day conference every 4 to 5 years. The purpose of this Unit is to promote knowledge exchange and collaborative interactions.

State of Knowledge

Group members have developed non-spatial mechanistic windthrow risk models for uniform-structured stands, and tree-level models of tree-behaviour under load. Hot topics include: characterizing wind flow over complex terrain and through forest canopies; incorporating spatial and structural complexity in windthrow risk models; developing biomechanical models of acclimative growth; and characterizing ecosystem responses to recurring wind disturbances.

The list of topics under investigation includes:

  • Atmospheric boundary layer flow over rough surfaces
  • Airflow over forest stands, edges and clearings
  • Airflow over natural shelter belts
  • Mechanics of trees under wind loading
  • Acclimative growth response of trees
  • Silviculture and harvest design to reduce wind damage
  • Post-storm damage responses
  • Wind climatology
  • Topography effects in wind loading on trees
  • Physical modelling of airflow around trees
  • Failure criteria of trees
  • Ecological dynamics and strong winds
  • Tree level management to reduce wind damage