Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.592141
Title: Land capability assessment for forestry in north-east Scotland
Author: Blyth, J. F.
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1975
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Abstract:
The purpose of the present study was to extend the principles and methods developed in Strathdon over a wider area. It was decided to work with Sitka spruce at twelve forests in north-east Scotland, restricting sites to areas of at least 0.5 ha free of check in closed canopy stands of Queen Charlotte Island provenance. The project was planned in four stages:- (i) to determine and evaluate the more influential site factors affecting Sitka growth and to derive yield prediction equations from the regression analysis of sample plot data. (ii) to test the accuracy of these equations and their suitability as a, method of forest capability assessment (iii) to investigate and compare an alternative physiographic approach to forest capability assessment. (iv) to produce forest capability maps amplified by forest notes which would include descriptions of important factor effects and their implications for management. Seventy three temporary sample plots were randomly selected within suitable stands to cover as wide a range of sites as possible within the study area, and site factor and tree growth data were collected from each plot. Correlations multiple regression and factor analyses were then carried out on this data and yield prediction equations produced. In assessing yield, allowance was made for the ubiquitous presence of initial check by using the growth rate after check deduced from age/height curves of felled trees. The sample plots were grouped into three nuclei (each containing several forests) and four elevation classes to investigate the variation of site/growth relationships and to determine the size of areas for which, simple yield equations of adequate predictive ability could be derived. In the second field season a further fifty four sample plots were randomly selected in the six main forests to test the predictive ability of the above equations. An investigation into the-variability of soil factors and tree growth was also carried out, for sample plots ranging from 0.01 to 1.00 hectare, because an unexpectedly poor relationship was found between Sitka growth and the level of extractable nutrients. The site factors most significantly correlated with Sitka yield were total nitrogen and phosphorus in the organic horizon, geomorphic shelter, elevation, position-on-slope, winter (and annual) rainfall and the mean accumulated soil (and air) temperature in the growing season. The adverse effect of poor- soil drainage is more important at sites where meteorological factors are not limiting, and Sitka growth is significantly poorer on soils derived from ultrabasic parent materials and hornblende schist.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.592141  DOI: Not available
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