A critique of silviculture : managing for complexity by Klaus J Puettmann; K Dave Coates; Christian C Messier

By Klaus J Puettmann; K Dave Coates; Christian C Messier

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Extra resources for A critique of silviculture : managing for complexity

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While concepts of cutting units and cycles had been used regionally for some time, the historical context of silviculture 15 new inventory systems and their associated mathematical advancement allowed formal assessments and planning. For example, methodologies such as the Fachwerkverfahren enabled the calculation of “sustainable” harvest levels (Hasel 1985; Mantel 1990; Morgenstern 2007). More important for silviculture, these new planning tools became the criteria used to assign harvest operations to specific stands, replacing the silvicultural analyses of individual forest conditions.

The power of nomenclature in driving the development of silvicultural practices can be seen by the experience in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. In an effort to encourage a rapid transition to sustained-yield management in the 1930s, Kirkland and Brandstrom (1936) suggested implementation of selective cutting. Selective cutting is a term that had (and still has) no specific definition, but has been applied to any 28 a critique of silviculture: manag ing for complexity kind of partial harvesting.

In terms of application, the implementations of wedge and shelterwood cuttings are not applied simultaneously, but follow a time sequence determined by regeneration success. Translation of this single word into the English language requires a lengthy and detailed explanation. Thus, descriptions of complex silvicultural systems were made more difficult in the English language. Cumbersome wording and associated difficulties in communication and perception were at least partially responsible for the loss of subtle distinctions in silvicultural systems (Nyland 2002).

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