Management, Biometrics & Forest Research

In this lectures:

2.1.1 Management for plantations
2.6 Management wood production
3.1 Forest biometrics
5.4 Forest research

About the Lecturer

Dr Michelle Balasso

Michelle has a multi-disciplinary background allowing for a broad expertise in forestry, ecology, wood products and natural resource management and is committed to integrating different aspects of forestry for sustainable and appropriate use of natural resources. Michelle’s PhD contributed to the understanding of variation in wood quality in Eucalyptus plantations, and she developed a segregation system to obtain the highest recovery of valuable products from the planted resource. Michelle authored a number of high-quality publications in the fields of forest management and wood technology, and presented at several national and international conferences, as well as at industry events. Originally from Italy, she obtained both BSc and MSc from the University of Padova, and travelled for research in Sweden and Germany prior to settling in Australia, where she is currently employed in the forest industry.

2.1.1 Active management for Plantations

Plantations occupy 290 million ha of land worldwide, corresponding to 7% of the global forest cover, and contribute for almost half of the world’s industrial roundwood production. With increasing pressures on forests to provide timber for construction, biomass, pulp for paper and packaging, sustainable forest management is extremely important to ensure production of those products and other, as well as maintain the multiple benefits of forests.
This lecture provides the fundamentals of plantation management, covering the plantation cycle from site preparation to final wood harvesting.

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2.6 Active Management of wood production

Humankind has sourced raw products and obtained benefits from forests since its appearance on earth. Among the several services that forest ecosystems provide, wood products are the most valuable for markets worldwide, and have the largest presence in our daily lives. Knowledge on how wood is produced from trees is fundamental in order to manage forests appropriately to obtain the desired timber products. This lecture will cover the fundamental of plant anatomy, wood formation, timber products type ad processing, and concludes on how to manage forests for wood production.

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3.1 Forest Biometrics/statistics – growth & yield, trial design, sampling

Accurate and reliable measurements of forest resources are fundamental for forests evaluation, resource modelling, conservation and sustainable resources extraction, as well as for restoration and biodiversity protection. Statistical knowledge is essential to understand forest biometrics and mensuration, as well as to undertake forest research. This lecture will cover the bare-bone basics of statistics, sampling methods, to then move on the concepts of growth and yield for forest assessments.

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5.4 Forest research/Understanding and critiquing scientific publications

Forest research is nowadays highly specialised, sector-specific and technologically driven. While keeping up-to date with the new developments in the various and diversified forestry research areas may appear to be a daunting task, several fundamentals which underline research, and publishing in general, can help practitioners better understand and critique scientific publications. This lecture will provide an overview of the basic of good forest (and sciences in general) research, touching on several aspects, including scientific publishing, peer-review, research ethics.

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