The future of silviculture research-thoughts from the Yale forestry forum
The 1999 Yale Forestry Forum, sponsored by Yale University and the USDA Forest Service, brought together a number of experts in an academic setting to discuss the future of silviculture research in the next century. Four participants in the plenary session outlined three areas that will characterize the future of silviculture research-sustainability, flexibility, and rigor. Sustainability includes two elements-sustainability of practices at different scales of management, and striking the appropriate balance of conditions across the landscape. Flexibility has three elements-feasible 'silvicultural pathways' for species of interest, research within and among a wide scale of intensities of management, and silviculture for a variety of 'at risk' situations. Rigor has two elements-silviculture research as a subset of a larger array of response variables, and maintenance of high standards of statistical design for silvicultural research. The implications of these and other elements raised for future funding of silviculture research remains unclear, but will give the silviculture research community an opportunity for enhanced discussion of priorities in the immediate future.