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First Textbook on Ecological Silviculture Serves as Blueprint for the Next Generation of Forestry

Photo of Ecological Silviculture: Foundations and Application  Mock up of book cover; this is not the publishers image, but rather one I developed for presentationsEcological Silviculture: Foundations and Application Mock up of book cover; this is not the publishers image, but rather one I developed for presentationsSnapshot : Ecological silviculture is an approach for managing forests based on emulation of natural forest dynamics to sustain the myriad of services forests provide. For the first time, scientists have distilled the concepts of ecological silviculture into a comprehensive guide, the first truly new textbook on silviculture offered to the global management community in the last 50 years.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Palik, Brian J. , PhD 
Research Station : Northern Research Station (NRS)
Year : 2020
Highlight ID : 1702


Forests are managed using silviculture—the tools for growing trees and maintaining healthy ecosystems —to meet people’s needs, including wood, clean water, and diverse habitats. There is recognition that traditional silviculture, used for centuries and primarily aimed at timber production, does not fully meet these needs in ways that ensure sustainability. Rather, sustainability is best achieved using silviculture that emulates natural forests; that is, harvests and other activities are modeled on how forests work naturally. To date, this discussion has been largely conceptual, resulting in little widespread change on the ground largely because of the lack of a blueprint for ecological silviculture. A Northern Research Station scientist and his university colleagues provide this blueprint in the form of a comprehensive, practical textbook for this new type of silviculture: “Ecological Silviculture: Foundations and Applications.” Although traditional silviculture texts have been updated in recent years, this textbook is the first truly new addition to the world’s silviculture library in decades. Armed with this book, foresters from diverse organizations, including family forests, public and industry ownerships, tribes, and nongovernmental organizations, have the tools to devise silvicultural prescriptions that are truly ecological, widely applicable, and ensure long-term sustainability of the services the American people expect from forests.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Anthony D’Amato - University of Vermont
  • Jerry Franklin - University of Washington
  • K. Norman Johnson - Oregon State University

Program Areas