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Forest research results into practice

20.12.2016 16:15


The Valerie project is progressing in the development of a specialised search engine for agriculture and forestry innovations, in parallel to innovation trials on the ground. Colleagues from the University of Gloucester visited the Spanish case study in Valerie on 16 December. Hosted by USSE/Foresna and EFIMED, the UK partners held several meetings with local stakeholders in Roncal (Navarra).

Updates to the AskValerie platform were presented to representatives of the forest service and the forest owners’ group. Their feedback will assist with improvements to the system. In the afternoon, a short field visit set the Valerie trial into context: forests of Scots pine with some pubescent oak dominate the Pyrenean mountains where the group of private forest owners has been constituted.

Figure 1 - Update on AskValerie to practitioners.
Photo: Juanmi Villarroel

The varying slope orientation highly determines the tree composition and vigour, while the slope gradients restrict their mechanisation. Practitioners raised questions regarding the most adequate silvicultural treatments in these conditions, jointly with the sanitary status. For example, a small patch showed a simultaneous triple attack of mistletoe, Cronartium flaccidum, and Ips acuminatus. Having sound scientific information to hand helps in planning an accurate management. 

Figure 2 - Discussing management options in the field. Photo: Elena Gorriz

The draft of the joint forest management plan was presented in an afternoon session attended by members of the Roncal forest owner group. By using LIDAR information, the inventory stage of the plan was assessed as easier than traditional inventories. At this stage, forest owners have to analyse the management proposals for their parcels.

Taking into account the high land fragmentation, forest owners need to agree on the joint strategy for forestry interventions taking into account temporal, silvicultural and infrastructure criteria. This collaborative interaction among forest owners and the technicians is an interesting example of social innovation.



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