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Assessing the risk of wind damage to plantation forests in New Zealand

Authors: John Moore, Alan Somerville
Publication: New Zealand Journal of Forestry, Volume N.Z.J.For. 1998, Issue N.Z.J.For. 43(1) 1998, pp 25-29, May 1998
Publisher: New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Abstract: Current techniques for assessing the risk of wind damage to plantation forests attempt to rank different sites and/or silvicultural treatments, but cannot successfully assign a probability value to the occurrence of damage. Probability values derived from historical records of wind damage events are only applicable to stands with the same structure and location as those from which the historical records were obtained. Since 1994 research at the New Zealand Forest Research Institute and the British Forestry Commission Northern Research Station has focused on the development of a fundamentally-based system designed to predict both site wind speed at which a stand is likely to fail and the probability of occurrence of wind speeds in excess of this threshold value. This approach will allow evaluation of the effects of geographic location and changes in species selection, silviculture and rotation age on the risk of wind damage.