Blog: Future tree diseases and woodlands

Posted on January 25, 2017 by

Chris Quine and John Healey talk about their important research into pests and diseases affecting woodland and their call to members for information.

How will the risk of future tree diseases affect the decision making of woodland owners and managers? A request for your views.

In recent years, pests and diseases from around the world have severely affected several tree species in Britain, and others are likely to arrive in coming years.  Many woodland owners and managers have started to think about how to move beyond just responding to each disease after arrival and instead plan for longer-term resilience of woodlands to a range of possible threats.  Such choices are the focus of the research project FOREMOD being carried out by a consortium of universities and Forest Research, funded by the UK government.  Here we introduce the project and request your views.

The focus of the project is to improve understanding of the decisions which woodland owners and managers make in the light of their knowledge of tree disease risks, and their particular objectives in management.  The information generated by this research will help woodland owners understand the economic consequences of different management options.  It will also inform policy makers about how different incentives would best encourage woodland owners to make the decisions that most reduce future tree disease risks.

We hope many woodland owners and managers will be willing to participate in this research as this will help us get the strongest possible evidence on which to base this advice. Participating will not take long, will entail no long-term commitment and will be strictly confidential. We are asking you to take part in a “choice experiment” to find out your preference between pairs of management options that differ in their conditions. The more people who take part the stronger will be the evidence.

To take part in this survey you simply need to click here.

Please also get in touch if you would like to participate in the project in other ways, for instance by advising on what woodland management alternatives we should compare in our economic modelling. Contact Oleg Sheremet (ois2@st-andrews.ac.uk) for more information about the choice experiment or Morag Macpherson (mfm@cs.stir.ac.uk) about any other aspect of the project.

 

Chris Quine, Head of Centre for Ecosystems, Society and Biosecurity, Forest Research

John Healey, Professor of Forest Sciences, Bangor University

 

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