exemplary forests, reference stands, training plots

are the backbone of knowlegde transfer

 "Example forests" are one of the oldest topics of discussions in the meetings of Pro Silva.This should cover long term management strategies that are best practice examples adapted to specific forest types and site conditions. We want to present descriptions of their most important characteristics and key data.

What is essential is the orientation of forest management towards close-to-nature forms of forest development and the most comprehensive possible inclusion of natural processes in management. Each enterprise has its own specific forest historical and local starting position. Prior to this, individual examples of best forest management practice are required. The different personalities who stand behind the implementation are the key to the development and transfer of the locally acquired knowledge and wealth of experience. 
The essential thing is to establish and maintain a long-term partnership with these "examplary forests" so that the following points can be covered:

  • Ensuring continuity in forest management for generations to come
  • Actively offer example forests as excursion destinations
  • Gain partners for scientific studies and permanent observation plots

reference stands

Within the sample farms, we are endeavouring to establish a network of permanently established reference areas. According to the current status, these are areas which offer the following conditions:

  • They form an economic unit with regard to measures and framework conditions (harvesting and delivery technology) with a minimum size of around 5 ha.
  • The "farmer" (owner, forester) expressly and sustainably endeavours to develop the area into species-rich structured stands with an economic orientation in the long term in the sense of near-natural forest management.
  • The "manager" enters into a contract with Pro Silva which regulates medium and long-term cooperation and includes ongoing communication and an exchange of special events on the site.
  • The areas are available for scientific investigations and periodic excursions as visual objects.

Currently, the RESYNATWald project has established, recorded and evaluated 12 such areas. In the future, the network will be densified by further projects and supplemented by missing growth areas and forest communities.

In May 2020 there are 130 reference stands measured according to the AFI protocol which are in France 87, Switzerland 7, Ireland 7, Germany 5, England 4, Wales 3, Belgium 3, Luxembourg 3, Austria 12.

training plots (martelloscopes)

In addition, forest stands should be prepared ans measured for trainings in marking trees for single tree selection and integrated into an intensive further training programme. A uniform standard is still to be developed. There is one good standard developesd by AFI (France), which has been adpoted by EFI and undertakern further developement under the INEGRATE+ project.

For such areas, the individual trees will be recorded by the coordinates, measured and their characteristics classified, so that after an exercise automated evaluation can quickly be presented as a result and then reflected and discussed in the forest itself.

Integrated forest management for resilience and sustainability across 25 countries