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Sustainable management of forest soils

First meeting

IEFC task group 
Sustainable Management of Forest Soils
Meeting 19-20 July 2001
INRA- Bordeaux -Pierroton

Minutes of the meeting

Present:
I de Arano (Neiker Institute)
M Ben Brahim (INRA)
JM Carnus (INRA)
M Madeira (ISA, Lisbon)
A Merino (University of Santiago, Faculty of forestry)
C Orazio (IEFC)
P Trichet (INRA)

Apologies from  J Ranger (INRA), D Loustau (INRA), S Pellerin (INRA), E Saur (Enita Bordeaux)

qIntroduction: welcome by IEFC president (M Arbez) and presentation of IEFC activities (C Orazio). The Forest Soil group could be part of task 1 of the three year IEFC programme (2000-2002) for the sustainable management of plantation forests in South West Europe. The main objective of this programme is to develop networking and provide the basis for active collaboration and future projects between reserach organisations, universities and between scientists and foresters.

qOverview of current research programmes and activities on Forest Soils within IEFC region :

INRA JM Carnus)
1.General presentation of INRA
2.Forestry Research Department structure and programmes
3.Main activities of research programme «cycles in forest ecosystems » coordinated by J Ranger in Nancy (document provided)  process quantification and modelling, determination of nutrient budgets, soil acidification and remediation, spatial analysis. Applied research concern the development of recommandations for site fertility maintenance and the land application of residual material in tree plantations.

INRA P Trichet) Laboratory of Ecophysiologie and Nutrition (dir  D Loustau)
1.Presentation of the laboratory  programme, activities, projects
2.General features of forest soils in South West of France, limitations to forest growth and current practices
3.Fertilisation experimental programme (site network) and development of best management practices
4.Fertirrigation site (Long Term Forest Experiment) similar to BFG experiment: preliminary results (and visit of the site on Friday 20)
5.Residual reuse project (biosolids and compost) on maritime pine plantations M BenBrahim)


ISA (M Madeira)

1.Current Forest Soil research at ISA mainly dedicated to nutrient cycling and sustainable forest management SFM for three main species eucalyptus, chestnut, cork oak ; marginally maritime pine), with some recent development on the study of tree root systems and the development of tools for assessing the feasibility of energy plantations
2.programme on SFM concern mainly new plantations and cover the following aspects: slash and soil management, site preparation techniques, criteria and indicators, mesofauna and soil quality, mycorhize activities
3.programme on carbon budget includes  role of forest soils in carbon sequestration, organic matter as an indicator
4.programme on tree root systems investigate the effects of site characteristics, site preparation and seedling provenance on root distribution.
The objectives of current programmes are oriented towards developing best management practices for sustaining site productivity  this includes quantification of nutrient budgets (including for maritime pine stands) and optimising timing of fertiliser application. Mainly two experimental sites of 5 ha (eucalyptu) with contrasted fertility provide data.

University of Santiago (A Merino)- Department of Soil Science faculty of forestry

1.General overview of forest soils in South West Europe: climatic and tree species similarities, but large heterogeneity in soils (parent material, topography, depth, chemical composition..)
2.Situation of forests in Galicia  decreased growth, nutritional stresses and increases of diseases. Location of most forests on soils with very low fertility: 80 % of forests with soil depths < 40 cm and with fraction > 2cm = 70 %. Eucalyptus on leptosols and regosols, pine son regosols, only chestnut forests are located on better soils
3.Management practices are generally not sustainable: few measures for soil conservation, intensive site preparation (cf data from basc region) ; problem of whole tree harvesting (increased use of small branches, wood for energy programme)
4.Objective of the research programme  improving the understanding of nutrient cycles in plantation forests (eucalyptus and pine species mainly) in relation with tree growth (modelling of site index) and develop guidelines and recommandations for fertilisation and use of residuals (ash) in tree plantations.

Neiker Institute (I De Arano)

1.Presentation of Neiker (Basc public company)  agro-forestry research - possibly in the near future a specific Forest Research branch. Existence of historic fertilisation trials in forests. The reaesrch programme has taken a new start in the past two years along three main axes:
2.Review existing data on forest soils, classify data, relate data with nutrient levels in foliage and provide some preliminary recommandations for site management. Main results show that for 60% of the sampling points, P is not detectable in soils, that OM content is low to very low and that foliage P and Mg are very low and low
3.Develop spatial analysis on the basis of a new monitoring system for forest soils (grid 3 km x 3 km) representing 450 points with 50 % in conifers (200 points for radiata pine plantations)
4.Develop indicators in relation with SFM  this programme can be connected with IEFC Interreg project
Also individual research projects are conducted such as studies for residual use in plantation forests (municipal sludge)

qDiscussion on main issues
ØSystematic monitoring methods
ØIndicators for sustainability
ØSilvicultural practices and their effects on soil quality and productivity
ØPlantations management and carbon sequestration
ØSoil and nutrient management for sustaining production
ØNatural N fixation
ØRoots and mycorrhizas in plantations ecosystems
ØResiduals recycling in forestry
ØEnergy plantations
The three main topics which have been identified as common betwen our research organisations are  (i) soil indicators for SFM, (ii) best management practices (BMP) for sustaining site fertility, (iii) residual use in forestry. Those three topics could constitute the basis for further collaboration.


qWorking plan for 2001-2002 

1.September 2001 (24 /09 )
one day visit and IEFC seminar in Basc Country (last week of September 2001) on BMP for radiata pine plantations in New Zealand by Dr P Clinton, from New Zealand Forest Research Institute date to be arranged between JM Carnus and I Arano location to be determined

2.Octobre 2001
Preparation of a proposal by IEFC for the 5 th PCRD accompanying measures to develop a multidisciplinary research network on the Sustainability of plantation forests in South Western Atlantic Europe. (deadline 10/10)  the forest soil group could contribute to the proposal with the objective of collaborative research projects in the 6 th PCRD. The proposal would include four main components (genetic and diversity, forest functionning, wood products, socio-economics).

3.Autumn 2001
Interreg project to be finalised by IEFC  this project is coordinated by IKT (D Saenz) in Vitoria and IEFC (C Orazio)with the objective of developing SFM indicators based on pilot zone at landscape level (catchments). 10 zones have been predefined and the soil group could propose some simple soil indicators to be tested ; The Interreg project is a 6 years project (2002-2007).

4.February-March 2002  contribution of the forest soil group to the IEFC atlas on forests of south wesrtern Europe. Format need to be defined (max 4 to 5 p)  action C Orazio

5. June 2002  our next meeting could be organised in Lisbon after the combined IUFRO-IEFC meeting on models for the sustainable management of plantation forests- dates to be confirmed .


Jean-Michel Carnus