1.01.00 - Temperate and boreal silviculture


Andreas Bolte, Germany


Palle Madsen, Denmark

Elisabeth Schatzdorfer, Austria

About Unit

The Research Group on Temperate and Boreal Silviculture is a diverse group of researchers working on various aspects of silviculture, with many linkages to other Research Groups within Division 1 and other divisions. Nine Units within the Research Group are more specifically focused on (1) boreal silviculture, (2) peatlands, (3) regeneration of temperate forests, (4) vegetation management (including forestry herbicides), (5) mountain forests, and the silviculture and management of (6) oaks (Quercus spp.), (7) beech (Fagus spp.), (8) Norway spruce (Picea abies), and (9) European silver fir (Abies alba).

State of Knowledge

Boreal and Temperate Forests
Boreal and temperate forests are the forests of the northern latitudes and the middle latitudes in both the northern and southern hemispheres. The boreal coniferous forest is limited to and dominates the northern latitudes where it comprises the largest forest area of the world. The middle latitudes outside of the tropical zone have four major natural temperate forest types, the broadleaf evergreen, broadleaf deciduous, middle latitude coniferous, and the schlerophyll forests. Human activity has impacted species composition and vegetation structure in the regions, including clearing for agriculture and pasture but the conversion of forest habitat to other uses has occurred at different rates and different times in history. For example, most of Europe and Asia were settled millennia ago, while human occupation of the Americas began only about 15,000 to 20,000 years ago. Nevertheless, the transformation of land use is not unidirectional; wars, plagues, population movement and fluctuations, and climate changes cause agricultural abandonment and reversion to forests. Despite widespread human activity, old forests remnants can be found in Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and the Americas. Significant changes have occurred within the last 200 years as industrialized nations shifted from a biomass energy economy to fossil fuels. Further changes are likely in the industrialized nations of the temperate and boreal zones, as changing policies for agriculture and nature conservation provide incentives for land use shifts from agriculture to forest.

Read more (on Silviculture, Historical Development, Current Knowledge and Future Challenges, and Selected Literature)