Enhancing the productivity of radiata pine forestry within environmental limits

Authors: John Moore, Peter Clinton
Publication: New Zealand Journal of Forestry, Volume N.Z.J.For. 2015, Issue N.Z.J.For. 60(3) 2015, pp 35-41, Nov 2015
Publisher: New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Abstract: Ensuring that forestry remains a profitable land use is critical to providing a stable long-term timber supply. Productivity improvements are a key means for achieving increased profitability, all other factors remaining equal. In developing strategies aimed at increasing productivity, it is important to consider that productivity is a measure of business efficiency or how well input resources are converted into outputs. If increases in outputs are simply achieved through a proportional scaling up of inputs then there is no gain in productivity. Such an approach may actually carry with it an increased exposure to biophysical and market risks. Forest managers therefore need to increase the biological productivity of their forests in a costeffective and sustainable way, and this is a key focus of the Growing Confidence in Forestry’s Future research programme. In this paper we present an overview of forest productivity concepts, which can be used to develop strategies aimed at increasing the biological productivity of forests. Such strategies include the choice of genetic material, manipulation of soil resources and improved site utilisation through stand stocking. We also discuss the importance of ensuring that gains in productivity are achieved through practices that can be demonstrated as being environmentally acceptable and are sustainable over multiple rotations.
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