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Title: The effects of soil, site and climatic factors on the growth of Scots pine and heather
Author: Morgan, Allan Lynn
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1973
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Agriculture, forestry, and heather management --- insofar as it relates to sporting and grazing purposes --- are the major means of obtaining economic returns from plant production in upland areas of North-East Scotland, The conflicting interests of these forms of land-use have often led to bitter altercations over the choice of crop to be planted on particular areas of land. Some well-publicised cases have occurred in North-East Scotland where reportedly sound agricultural land has been afforested. It seems likely that the lack of sound, objective research into site classification is a contributory factor to these arguments over land-use. During the last decade, research on land capability has been carried out to provide objective information on multiple uses of upland, based On experimental knowledge of site potential. In 1965, the Soil Science Department at Aberdeen initiated a pilot scheme at Strathdon, West Aberdeenshire, for the study of land-use in the North-East, The final aim of this scheme is to provide a land capability map for the area founded on an objective basis, Adu (196S) and Cook (1971) have investigated the growth of Scots pine within the area, and complementary to this Beavington (1967) and Jones (1971) studied grass production. Thus, work has progressed on grasslands and forests, but the third major upland vegetation type of the area, namely heather moorland, has received scant attention. Research on heather in Scotland has been concerned principally with its nutritional value for hill sheep and grouse (e,g, Moss, 1969; Thomas, 1956), The boundary between forest plantations and heather moorland is determined as much by the whims of land owners, and the position of estate boundaries as by ecological factors such as exposure to wind. Thus many areas of moorland are capable of afforestation. The area of land at lower altitudes likely to become available for forestry is. becoming increasingly limited, so that forester are being forced to plant at higher altitudes, where the soils and climate are unfavourable fox' agricultural purposes, except for extensive rough grazing. Trial plantations at high elevations are long term projects because of the age trees take to come to maturity. However, it was thought that possibly the performances of the heather at present growing on these upland areas could give some insight into the potential for the growth of Scots pine. The aim of this study, therefore, is to see whether the growth of heather could be used to assess site potential for Scots pine. Towards this aim, there were four main stages to the research a) to assess the effects of various soil, site and climatic factors on the growth of Scots pine b) to carry out a similar investigation for heather within the same areas of study c) from a comparison of the results from (a) and (b) to assess the extent to which the growth of the two species is limited by the same factors d) from (c) to evaluate the use of heather growth to predict site potential for Scots pines.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available