Research Theme Three

Forest Productivity and Forest Products

The NSRC seeks research pre-proposals that will quantify, improve, and sustain productivity of the Northern Forest as a working forest landscape. Forest productivity for purposes of this RFP includes all aspects of forest production that are most important to the future of the wood products-based economy of the Northern Forest.  Aspects of primary interest include underlying biological processes, management practices, methods of prediction, and sociopolitical factors that influence future wood supplies and forest conditions.

Theme Three supports research that addresses forest productivity and forest products. Research pre-proposals to be considered for funding under Theme Three may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following topics:

  • Biological Processes: Increased understanding about the underlying biological processes driving current and future net primary productivity of Northern Forest ecosystems, including:
    • Ecophysiological responses of commercial tree species to silvicultural practices
    • Enhanced methods for assessing forest and stand productivity
    • Influence of harvesting practices on genetic variation of commercial tree species
    • Influence of management practices on long-term site productivity
  • Management: Increased understanding about the influence of management practices on productivity of Northern Forest stands, including:
    • Influence of current partial harvesting practices on future regeneration and growth
    • Low-cost silvicultural systems to improve species composition of natural regeneration
    • Intensive and extensive silvicultural systems for production of commercial tree species
    • Influence of silvicultural practices on wood formation and quality
    • Practices to support production of biofuels and other bioproducts
  • Prediction: Improved prediction of how changing management and environmental conditions will influence future wood supplies and forest conditions, including:
    • Improving regional growth & yield simulators, such as the Forest Vegetation Simulator and other widely used models
    • Improving forest inventory and monitoring systems and their use in improving prediction of current and future forest conditions at regional, state, and local scales
    • Influence of thinning and other partial cutting methods on future growth & yield of stands and forest-level wood supplies
    • Decision-support systems for large-scale pest outbreaks
    • Influence of forest practices on stand and forest-level carbon dynamics
    • Forest growth and species response to climate change
  • Sociopolitical: Increased understanding about political, regulatory, economic, labor, technology, public communications, and other issues that influence productivity realized by forest landowners and managers in the Northern Forest, including:
    • Political or regulatory issues affecting forest products and markets
    • Mill or logging capacity and technology issues affecting forest productivity and markets
    • Economic/market issues affecting financial returns from forest products and forestland ownership
    • Syntheses of state/regional data about forest conditions/trends that affect forest productivity and are important for policy-makers, stakeholders, and the public to understand

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