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~2 Areas of Research Despite the excellence of some individual researchers and centers of forestry research, the quantity and coherence of research do not match even current needs. Changes in public perceptions and uses of forests call for new information not now provided in sufficient depth. Not only is an increase in depth and quantity needed, but the quality of this research must also be high. Unprecedented opportunities to understand forest structure and function presented by ecosystem ecology and molecular biology are not being pursued with enough talent and vigor. Opportunities also exist to better understand human-forest interactions, economics and forest policy, and wood as a raw material. Increased funding is recommended in the following five major areas: (1) biology of forest organisms, (2) ecosystem function and management, (3) human-forest interactions, (4) wood as a raw material, and (5) international trade, competition, and cooperation. These five areas represent the broad cross-section of forestry research seen by the committee as central to addressing present and future societal concerns pertaining to forests and many global environmental issues. Most of the research needs described in this chapter have importance for tropical as well as temperate-zone forestry. Rather than divide research needs into "tropical" and "temperate" categories, we intend to highlight fundamental research areas that need to be strengthened. Research needs specific to each section discussed in this chapter are listed in Appendix B. 27
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28 FORESTRY RESEARCH BIOLOGY OF FOREST ORGANISMS Forests are inhabited by thousands of noncommercial animal, plant, and microbe species that coexist with commercial tree species. Many of these organisms perform for the commercially important species critical ecological functions such as nitrogen fixation, pollination, propagule dis- persal, mitigation of forest pests, and enhancement of nutrient uptake. Forest management activities affect the habitats of all these organisms. Our understanding of ecosystem function and our ability to improve forest productivity, to ameliorate the effects of environmental disturbances, and to restore ecosystems are hindered by our limited knowledge of the basic biology of forest organisms. Thus, research not only on trees, but also on other plants, animals, and microbes presents opportunities to advance science and better the human condition. Physiological and Genetic Bases of the Mechanisms Underlying Forest Health, Productivity and Adaptability Forest environments are changing at an accelerating rate; yet, for the most part, we do not know how forest organisms will adapt and respond to these changes. Societal demands on forests also continue to increase, and we must gain fundamental knowledge to allow development of cultural practices and tree varieties or genotypes that sustain and enhance produc- tivity. These issues require fundamental understanding of the physiological and genetic mechanisms controlling the growth and development of key forest organisms and the interactions occurring among these organisms. This information is needed, for example, to understand and predict how tree genotypes will respond to environmental stresses (such as air pollution and a warming climate) and to identify traits that are particularly beneficial or useful in specific situations. Selected microbes, insects, animals, and forest plants other than trees are important for forest sustainability or the maintenance of biological di- versity. Basic physiological and genetic information about them is crucial. By providing a physiological and genetic understanding of the mechanisms governing adaptive responses of these organisms, we will have a solid basis for designing cultural practices that will maximize sustainability, productiv- ity, and survival. The great diversity of forest organisms and the variety of their inter- actions makes it difficult to narrow the selection of specific organisms or processes that merit in-depth genetic and physiological analyses. However, concentrated analyses of a few model systems have been essential for re- cent progress in biology, and the selection of a few key forest organisms could enhance forest research. Already established and easily manipulable biological model systems such as Drosophila or Arabidopsis can be used
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AREAS OF RESEARCH 29 by forest researchers to identify genes or gene functions. Information ob- tained from these established systems can be directly or indirectly applied to numerous forest organisms. Ultimately, however, the mechanisms or processes must be verified and characterized in the forest organisms of interest themselves. Molecular Genetics of Forest Organisms. Forest trees have been diffi- cult objects for genetic studies because of their large size and long genera- tion times. The new technology of recombinant DNA makes it possible to study the genetic structure of organisms and populations in detail. These techniques provide new opportunities to study the molecular bases of a wide variety of genetically regulated processes in growth, metabolism, develop- ment, response to environmental stimuli, and evolution. These methods can contribute to the understanding of the mechanisms that underlie host- pathogen interactions, the responses of forest trees to pests and abiotic stress, and interactions with other forest organisms. Studies of the molecular interactions of hosts and pathogens can help to identify specific genes involved in the resistance to disease or in other aspects of defense response. Breeding and selection of certain forest tree species have produced lines that are resistant to major diseases such as fusiform rust and white pine blister rust. Although progress has been slow, good material is available and the promise for the future is bright if the techniques of molecular biology can be applied. Similarly, the technology can be applied to the study of the genetic properties of pathogens and pests themselves to provide information that could lead to the development of better biological control agents (see Pest Management). Molecular Markers for Stress Responses in Forests. Much concern has been expressed about the health of our forests in the face of environmental pollution and the prospects of global change, including changing climate. Little is known about the molecular physiology of stress responses in forest trees and other organisms. If the molecular events in stress responses become better understood, it will be possible to identify the key factors in the responses of forests to environmental stress. In this way, it will become possible to monitor the health of forest trees, diagnose problems, determine the biological bases for declines in specific forests, and take remedial action to improve forest health. Genetic Markers. In agronomic crop plants it is generally accepted that genetic markers will be a significant aid to improved breeding by early selection of desirable traits. The useful genetic markers called restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) are based on the establishment of a specific set of DNA probes obtained by recombinant DNA techniques.
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30 FORESTRY RESEARCH These markers are used to establish detailed genetic maps of important species that permit accelerated breeding strategies. Breeding can be accel- erated when linkage between genetic markers and important traits can be determined. Once detailed maps are established, genes that confer useful properties -such as those for improved wood properties, disease resistance, or stress tolerance can be located and identified. More importantly, the technology provides the opportunity to begin to dissect quantitative traits into genetic factors that could have major effects on specific phenotypes, but that have not been analyzed because appropriate phenotypic markers have been absent. Detailed genetic markers will also be of major value in the identification of relationships of diverse genetic material, whether in testing of seed sources or in establishing the interrelationships of organisms at the population level. Genetic markers and genetic maps will also be useful in studying popu- lation genetics and evolution of forest organisms. For example, monitoring gene frequencies in a given population can provide valuable information on the effects of a shrinking population as a result of reduced habitat. In addition, genetic markers can be used to shed light on the behavioral ecology of forest organisms. In particular, an organism's behavior can now be accurately linked to its reproductive success through genetic profiling or fingerprinting. Genetic Engineering Genetic engineering of forest organisms will make possible the use of genetic material that is not currently in the natural breeding population of a particular forest species. For trees, it makes possible the use of genetic material from other plants, microbes, and animals that could confer resistance to diseases, pests, and toxic chem- icals, as well as the ability to detoxify pollutants, respond to environmental stresses, and a wide variety of other characteristics that might not exist in the native species. To make genetic engineering of trees possible, new tech- nology must be developed and much basic information must be obtained about the molecular processes that may need to be modified. Other forest organisms might be engineered to improve biocontrol agents, nutrient up- take, and pollution control. We must also continuously evaluate potential hazards that might arise from the large-scale use of genetically engineered organisms. ~ maximize the usefulness of genetic engineering, genes must be preserved and studied. The best way to do this is through the preservation of biological diversity. The loss of biological diversity through habitat destruction, together with its other undesirable consequences, may cause existing gene pools to be inadequate for species improvement by genetic engineering.
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AREAS OF RESEARCH 31 Cell and Tissue Culture of Forest liees. Cell and tissue culture con- tinue to play important roles in the cellular biology of forest trees and in micropropagation for commercial forestry. Limitations of the methodology of tissue culture constitute the major research barrier to the development of DNA transfer methods that are needed for genetic engineering. Greater effort is needed to overcome the problems of tissue-culturing many forest tree species. In addition to its usefulness in genetic engineering, tissue culture can provide methods for investigating biochemical, physiological, and developmental characteristics of plant cells that could not be studied in the intact plant. Evaluating the Potential Risks of Genetically Modified Organisms us Forests. Applications of biotechnology in forestry require insights into natural ecosystems (NRC, 1989b). Organisms that are genetically modified need to be evaluated to ensure that they pose no unacceptable risk to the environment or to human health. Emphasis should be given to evaluating the impacts of the unique properties of modified versus unmodified organ- isms. Considerable research will be required if we are to learn about the biological processes and interrelationships within forests so that the safety of modified organisms can be evaluated responsibly. A great deal of work is and will continue to be needed to educate the public on both the value and the safety of the new technologies. In addition, forest scientists will be needed to assist regulatory agencies in developing and evaluating scientifi- cally sound guidelines for monitoring the release of genetically engineered organisms in agriculture and forestry so that our forests will be adequately protected. Biotechnology and the Forest Environment. Biotechnology has the po- tential to help solve many problems of forest environments through treat- ment of waste products of the forest products industry, improved efficiency of growth and processing of trees, and the use of molecular technology in monitoring the responses of forests to environmental stress. For example, lignin-degrading enzymes from fungi or isolated genes and their products might be used to degrade lignin wastes and reduce the impact of pulp mills on local environments (Tien and Kirk, 1983~. Similarly, biotechnology may improve the efficiency of tree growth by modifying the trees themselves or their symbiotic microbes. In addition, the impact on the environment of growing trees for wood in intensive wood-production systems could be reduced if the properties of wood could be modified to increase yields through more efficient processing. In this way, less land could produce the same amount of wood so that the impact on local or regional environments would diminish (see Wood as a Raw Material).
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32 Long-Term Site Productivity FORESTRY RESEARCH Sustainable productivity is an emerging scientific topic in the fields of natural resources and agriculture. Soil, pests, and environmental change and degradation have escalated concerns about our ability to maintain cur- rent yields of food and fiber (let alone to increase yield). These concerns have clarified our inadequate knowledge of the basis of productivity. Na- tional concern exists about the relationship between forest management activities and timber production, especially harvesting and site preparation, and about the capacity of the land to generate other benefits on a sustained basis. Our lack of understanding of the biology, culture, and protection of urban forests is also severely limiting management of those forests and policy-making for our future use and enjoyment of them. Pest Management Agricultural scientists have shown that one of the most efficient, long- lasting solutions to disease and insect problems is the use of resistant varieties. Disease- and pest-resistant trees have been developed through sexual hybridization and selection, but this is a slow and inefficient process for tree improvement. Forest scientists need to increase the pace of their search for resistance to major tree diseases and insect pests. New biotech- nology methods need to be developed as tools for identifying and utilizing new sources of resistance. Integrated pest management is an ecological approach that utilizes bi- ologically effective, environmentally safe, and economically sound methods of managing pests. Although it is not a "new" scientific issue, it is receiving increasing attention as practical problems and social concerns constrain traditional chemical approaches to pest control. The use of insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, and biological control are all involved in the devel- opment of a comprehensive strategy for minimizing pest problems. The desire for environmentally sound methods of pest management is intensi- fying, and the philosophy underlying the chemical targeting of organisms is increasingly questioned. The development of integrated pest management methods for forest resources is a major scientific challenge. Biological Pest Control. Agriculture has experienced problems over the past years in the utilization of broad-range chemicals for the control of various plant pests. Foresters would thus be wise to anticipate the many ecological and practical problems that stem from the use of fungicides, her- bicides, and insecticides for the control of forest pests and to minimize the use of such chemicals in forest management. Biotechnology will provide opportunities for alternative approaches to the control of pest populations
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AREAS OF RESEARCH 33 that are generally more specific and therefore less environmentally dis- ruptive than broad-range chemical approaches. For example, some viruses reduce gypsy moth populations specifically while being safe for other insects and other forest inhabitants (including humans). Such viruses are being developed for the control of several key forest insect pests, but much more information is needed on these and other microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, protozoa, viruses, and so forth) affecting other forest pests. The effective utilization of such microbial pest control methods requires an intimate un- derstanding of the nature of these microorganisms and their interactions with target and nontarget pests. In considering biotechnological solutions to pest control, biological control solutions other than the introduction of pathogens, parasites, and predators should also be pursued. Many of these additional biological control solutions are based on such biological strategies as biochemical signals utilized by the pests (pheromones, anemones, and others) and biochemical mechanisms of natural plant resistance to pests. Basic research will be needed to identify such signals and determine how they can be incorporated into pest control strategies. ECOSYSTEM FUNCTION AND MANAGEMENT Many of the emerging issues in science have a great impact on societal problems, especially problems in the area of natural resources and envi- ronment. In effect, the old distinction between basic and applied sciences is being dissolved, and scientific agendas are evolving around critical envi- ronmental issues such as the effects of global warming and of loss of the ozone layer and biological diversity. Hence, the scientific issues identified in this section are strongly linked to issues of resource management. Much scientific effort, however, needs to be devoted to developing basic knowl- edge and tools that are the scientific foundation for solving problems in natural resource management. Essentially all of the major scientific challenges require changes in the way researchers organize themselves as well as improvements in technology, such as remote sensing. It is essential that ecosystem research teams be holistic and interdisciplinary. While scientists working individually or as small groups can contribute to solutions, the major problems, such as global change or even the development of alternative silvicultural systems, require the perspectives and contributions of many disciplines. Ecosystem ecologists and their colleagues have developed and tested hypotheses about forests on the basis of a systems view of their structure and function. Their promising preliminary work needs to be augmented by greater inclusion of manipulated ecosystems, such as managed forests,
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34 FORESTRY SEARCH and by greater application of ecosystem principles to the management of forests and other renewable natural resources. Forest Ecosystem Research Research on the structure and function of forest ecosystems has pro- vided much of the information that is provoking major changes in our view of forests and how they work and has provided many concepts that are helping to resolve conflicts among resource values, such as timber and wildlife. Much of this research has been carried out by scientists outside of the field of forestry with funding from the National Science Foundation and private foundations. We need to drastically expand the effort devoted to basic research on both natural and intensively managed forest ecosystems. During the past 20 years, such research has been extremely productive of concepts that have revolutionized perspectives on forests such as (1) the structure and dynamics of the below-ground subsystem, including the complex interactions among trees and microbial and fungal communities and the very high rates of turnover and energy use; (2) the scale and intensity of interactions between forest canopy and atmosphere, including the canopy's major roles as condensing and precipitating surfaces; (3) the numerous and critical linkages between forests and associated streams and rivers, including the roles of riparian zones and streamside forests in aquatic productivity and groundwater pollution control; and (4) the rich array of organisms and processes associated with older natural forests. Current efforts to develop new forest management systems (see Alter- native Silvicultural Systems) are drawing heavily on this small body of basic research. Greatly expanded efforts are needed to extend this knowledge to all important forest ecosystems and to deepen our understanding of subsystems and processes, such as those below ground. Landscape Ecology Many current forest management problems involve concerns on large spatial scales and must be viewed, at least in part, at the level of a landscape. The preservation of habitat for wide-ranging species, such as large ungulates (for example, elk) or predators (for example, grizzly bear) was an early problem requiring a larger scale perspective. The northern spotted owl in the western United States and the red-cockaded woodpecker in the eastern United States are more current examples. The cumulative effects on water quality and fish habitat, such as undesirable hydrologic and sediment responses resulting from excessive short-term cutting within a particular drainage area, also require a landscape perspective. Another current and important example is forest fragmentation, as in the division
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AREAS OF RESEARCH 35 of forest landscapes into small-scale patchworks that are less than optimal for wildlife or particularly susceptible to forest catastrophes, such as wind damage. The developing area of landscape ecology deals with the significance of forest patch size, patch types, the importance of edge or boundary phenom- ena, and isolation or connectiveness between forest patches of similar types. Expanded research on forest landscape phenomena is critically needed for developing the theoretical basis of landscape ecology and for strengthening the applications of its current concepts. Further, analytical tools and models are badly in need of development, including the application of geographic information systems (GIS) and ex- pert system technology to habitat classification systems and other inventory and monitoring tasks. Remotely sensed imagery from satellites will be increasingly used for complex predictions of growth, yield, and ecosystem and global change. Global Change Global change is one of the most important emerging scientific chal- lenges facing mankind. Global change includes basic changes in climate associated with increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and pollu- tants, reduced concentrations of ozone in the stratosphere, deforestation, soil erosion, and declining water quality. The scientific challenges are im- mense and include the prediction of the direction and intensity of changes, the assessment of the ecological and social consequences of predicted change, and the identification of appropriate societal responses such as measures to mitigate impacts and adaptations to them. Furthermore, these assessments have to be made at scales from local to global and over very long periods of time. Issues of global change are numerous: How will global change affect the composition, growth, productivity, and distribution of forest ecosystems? How will climatic change affect the emissions of greenhouse gases and natural hydrocarbons from forest ecosystems? Are there feasible mitigation or adaptation strategies for minimizing the effects of global change on forests in a region? How will global change affect the quantity and quality of water from forested watersheds? Resolving or even understanding these issues in sufficient detail that appropriate forest policy can be implemented should be the central focus of much forestry research. Biological Diversity The basic concern about loss of biological diversity is the accelerating and irreplaceable depletion of genes, populations, species, and ecosystems.
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36 FORESTRY RESEARCH Associated with this depletion is the possible disruption of essential eco- logical processes, the loss of products currently or potentially obtained from natural resources, and the loss of options for biological and cul- tural adaptation to an uncertain future. Changes in aesthetic quality are also of increasing concern to society as the natural environment becomes progressively more uniform and biologically impoverished. Issues of preservation of biological diversity include some old ones (such as how to maintain game and anadromous fish populations), some new ones (such as what to do about threatened and endangered species), and some that are generally unappreciated (such as the need to maintain invertebrate diversity and local populations of organisms). Conservation biology is the label sometimes applied to this rapidly expanding area of science that includes both theoretical and empirical research. Although biological diversity has often been thought of as a "set-aside" issue, it is increasingly clear to many scientists and managers that biological diversity cannot be dealt with solely by creating reservations. Scientific attention is being directed to the role of the entire landscape matrix, including lands on which commodity production is dominant, in maintaining diversity. Hence, the relationship between reserved and commodity lands is a subtopic of increasing interest. Questions associated with the preservation of biological diversity in- clude the following: What elements of biological diversity in a region are most at risk and where are they located? How do changes in global climate and atmospheric chemistry and deposition interact with habitat modifica- tion to affect biological diversity? How is the loss of diversity at one level of the hierarchy (such as that of the gene or the species) either associated with or compensated by changes in diversity at other levels (such as that of the ecosystem or the landscape)? Alternative Silvicultural Systems Development of silvicultural systems based on sound biological and ecological principles is a major challenge for applied forest research, which must be directed toward new treatments of individual stands and land- scapes. Silvicultural systems that provide forest products while also allowing for recreation, more structural diversity, and the production of food will be useful in many settings. Examples are systems that incorporate coarse, woody debris, integrate tree and food crops, and create multistructured stands. Successional and ecosystem concepts can provide the theoretical support for such systems. Dramatically improved knowledge of landscape structure and function is also needed if we are to develop ecologically sound alternative silvicultural systems. Major forest issues that impinge on
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AREAS OF RESEARCH 37 new silvicultural systems including biological diversity, global change, cu- mulative effects, and the protection of fish and wildlife ultimately require resolution at the landscape level. Intensive Management for Wood Production Large tracts of forest land, particularly those owned by the forest industry, will continue over the foreseeable future to be managed primarily for wood production. Many areas of public land are also especially well suited for wood production, which, if concentrated there, relieves the pressure to manage less suitable lands intensively. Even these selected tracts, however, will experience management changes brought about by societal demands. Research questions revolve around two issues: (1) incorporating capacity to generate multiple products along with wood, and (2) learning how to manage forests for wood production without the use of historically successful forestry tools, particularly clear-cutting, chemicals, and fire. The search is on for biologically sound and economically efficient practices that are acceptable to the public. A close tie exists between silvicultural complexity and harvesting com- plexity. When timber is grown under silvicultural systems requiring mul- tiple harvests, multilayer stands, and the leaving of woody debris on site for wildlife, the job of removing marketable trees becomes extremely dif- ficult and costly. Developing harvest systems and machines to do this job efficiently and safely will require the application of research. Simi- lar statements can be made about site preparation, slash abatement, and regeneration. Another requirement for complex silvicultural systems is detailed site- specific planning among silviculturists, forest engineers, fish and wildlife biologists, and other resource specialists. For example, the hazards of certain forest tree diseases, such as annosus root rot, little leaf disease, and Phytophthora root rot of Fraser fir, have been shown to be reduced by site selection studies involving analyses of soil characteristics as well as preplanting sampling of soil for presence of the pathogen. Forestry is suffering from a lack of properly trained personnel under present operating conditions, a problem that will only get worse as the silvicultural systems become more complex. HUMAN-FOREST INTERACTIONS The needs of people drive the use and the misuse of forests. Our efforts to understand how people think about and act on forests have been minimal, and yet most controversies and shortages ultimately arise from human activity. The role of forests and forestry in rural development is recognized as important, but the research base is inadequate in both
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AREAS OF RESEARCH A_ _ _ r __ . ~ 39 and structure in sociobiological systems is critical to understanding the per- sistence and change of these rural institutions and ultimately the cultural Sync or community. Setter understanding of the human community asso- ciated with forests is required for guiding forest management and providing a perspective for sustainable resource development. Urbanization of the Forests and Urban Forests. Cities are encroaching upon forest boundaries. Conversely, all cities contain trees and many contain forests. These interactions have several effects. First, citizens are becoming more active and involved in the decision-making process about forest management and forest use, often influencing consideration and implementation of alternative forest plans. Second, human habitation within the forest and at its edge is on the rise. Homes built in forests for year-round living are increasing in number. Expectations for public services such as water and fire protection are altering practices of forest fire management. Urban residents who define forests as backyards or vistas are turning forests into parks, with trails, gardens, and recreation superseding forest harvesting practices. Major questions include, At what rate are forests being urbanized? How and where is it occurring? What constraints are being placed on harvesting rates? How are forest management plans and policies changing to accommodate multiple values of the forest expressed in the urbanization of those forests? Urban forests-wooded tracts of lands in cities and metropolitan areas provide habitat for wildlife, scenic outdoor space for people, and economic value to cities. Urban forests are far more extensive than most people realize, covering an estimated 69 million acres (Grey and Deneke, 1986~. Such forests are of special significance in our highly urban society. Eight out of ten Americans now live, work, and spend most of their leisure time in and around urban areas. Urban forests are particularly important to those Americans who have limited access to more rural areas, including those who are old, young, disabled, disadvantaged, low in income, and short on time, as well as members of minority groups who fear discrimination in more distant areas. Yet these places are little understood. Urban forests are often a diverse component in an even more complex ecosystem. Char- acterized mainly by trees, but including other plants, animals, and climatic and soil conditions, these places provide habitat for wildlife and people, clean and cool our air, deflect or absorb noise, produce oxygen, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. A broad spectrum of benefits and opportunities provided by urban forests ranges from sitting in the cool shade of an urban park to hiking in the '~wild" parts of forest preserves and studying nature in arboretums, conservatories, and zoological gardens. ~ee-lined corridors linking larger
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40 FORESTRY RESEARCH tracts provide a forest setting for increasingly popular "linear activities" such as walking, jogging, bicycling, and skiing. Urban forests present special problems that need to be solved if we are to succeed in providing and protecting this essential part of the human environment. Both education and research are needed specifically for urban forests. We need to gather information on individual tree species and other organisms as distinct from stands or forests. These data will answer management needs for maintaining these organisms. More knowledge is needed in selecting the best tree species for each urban forest site and in controlling the growth of trees, especially under power lines and in landscape plantings near buildings. We need to know more about which insects and diseases should be controlled and how best this can be accomplished. Pruning, tree removal, and disposal are major issues. Urban forest management practices need to be acceptable to the public as well as to the managers. We need more research on construction damage and how to reduce it substantially; large numbers of trees are being killed or severely damaged because their roots are injured during construction. Regional Resource Systems. Forestry policies-like those of agricul- ture, fisheries, mining, tourism, and the protection of natural resources- can no longer be developed in isolation from other potential uses of resources. Forestry at the expense of agriculture, or agriculture at the expense of fisheries, or any primary resource production process at the expense of resource protection ignores the systemic relationships that ex- ist. Conversely, few parks and preserves are large enough to protect a given species within their bounds. Such enclaves depend on the resource management practices about them to achieve their goals. Thie twenty-first century forester, farmer, government warden, and park manager will need to recognize the interdependence of each of their forms of natural resource management on the others. To succeed, resource management must be considered in the context of an ecosystem, where resource development, conservation, and protection are considered simultaneously. Competition for resources will give way to cooperative management strategies, where conservation and resource management are linked in sustainable resource systems (Field and Burch, 1988~. Leo concepts underlying the thinking within a regional planning pro- cess and action plan are ecosystem management principles and planning at the landscape or regional level. Research must further define these concepts and their utility for forest management. In addition, a behavioral science-human ecological research perspective on this topic will enhance the future of forestry practices. Recreation and Aesthetics. Social science research oriented toward recreation should be continued. However, the form and focus of the
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AREAS OF RESEARCH 41 research should be shifted. The emphasis has been on wilderness and back- country research at the expense of understanding recreation in the general forest system. Further, the nature of the research has been problem- driven, particularly by conflict among different groups that use forests for recreation. For example, few studies exist of the natural history of a recreation activity, of forest recreation at the urban fringe, and of recreation in agroforestry areas. Finally, most forest sociology research has been more applied than basic and more often appears in nonrefereed publications. Natural Resource Sociology in an International Con text. Natural re- source sociologists are participating in greater numbers in international studies of human-forest interactions, including community studies and in- ternational tourism. The systematic study of agroforest~y and social forestry, in particular, is in its infancy. Benefiting from studies in anthropology and rural sociology, forestry, agriculture, and aquaculture will become inte- grated as a mosaic of resource activities at the community level and will say much about conservation strategies in the future. Extension of Forest Sociology. Extension specialists are a primary con- duit through which scientific knowledge about forestry is shared with clien- tele groups. Currently forestry extension specialists are likely to have been educated in the physical and biological sciences and to have worked with the technical aspects of forestry. Contemporary issues and future problems will embrace resource-dependent communities, social conDict and conflict resolutions over multiple values of forests, urbanization of the forest and urban forests, and public involvement in planning for and making decisions about forests. Within this context, the issues associated with the clientele groups interested in forestry are becoming more diverse. The range of extension specialists must be expanded to embrace broader disciplinary backgrounds and to improve communication. Similarly, social scientists working on forestry problems must apply their research results to problem solving, help extension specialists understand the human factors in forestry, and help develop examples of the benefits and negative impacts of changes in forestry practices. WOOD AS A RAW MATERIAL The Need for a Major and Sustained Commitment to Forest Products Research in the United States Wood is a leading industrial raw material in the United States, ac- counting for about 25 percent of the value of all major industrial materials. On a tonnage basis, it exceeds all other structural materials combined. Similarly, it is the principal source of industrial fiber. The demand for forest products is growing: The global demand for timber products grew
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42 FORESTRY SEARCH by 90 percent in the past three decades (USDA Forest Service, 1982) and is projected to grow another 45 percent by the year 2000 (FAO, 1986~. The U.S. demand is projected to increase to 20.8 billion cubic feet by the year 2000 (Haynes and Adams, 1985~. These increased demands, if imposed on limited supplies, will result in increased prices of products and will thereby have a particularly devastating effect on the affordability of housing, furniture, paper, and other forest products. The reasons for the popularity of wood as a versatile industrial material are well known. Wood is far less demanding of energy than other industrial materials, such as steel, aluminum, plastics, brick, and concrete. Solar energy produces this industrial raw material, and a large fraction of the energy required to process it into useful products is provided by using the residues of its own manufacturing operations, thus minimizing requirements for fossil fuels. The United States grows more wood than it consumes, but it has been a net importer of forest products ever since 1916. As U.S. dependence on foreign wood products increases, the importation of forest products becomes a significant and growing negative contribution to the nation's balance of trade problems. If the supply of industrial roundwood from forests in the United States declines, the forest products manufacturing sector of the domestic system may have to sustain itself on foreign raw material. An alternative scenario is for the entire system to diminish to match the smaller supply of raw materials. If the United States is to participate significantly in meeting its own requirements for forest products, it must either increase its production of industrial roundwood, create a favorable climate for the manufacture of products from imported roundwood, or both. Other sections of this report address the problems associated with the first alternative. This section deals with the problems associated with maintaining a manufacturing sector that can utilize both domestic and foreign raw material supplies. At present, the United States is not only failing to supply its own raw materials, but it is also losing ground in manufacturing. For example, the United States has lost the market in machinery used in the manufac- ture of wood products. In the manufacture of pulp and paper, most of the major process and product breakthroughs over the past 15 years have come from overseas; these include continuous digester pulping, high-yield thermomechanical pulping, oxygen-bleaching, and control of dioxin in ef- huents. South American countries are now replacing the United States as the world's low-cost producer of pulp and paper products, and other developing countries are entering these markets. If the United States is to reverse the trend toward dependency on foreign suppliers for forest products, its research efforts must be substantially expanded and improved, and the production of competent research scientists in the field of wood science and technology must be increased.
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AREAS OF RESEARCH 43 Although the United States is a net importer of wood, it has been successful in exporting some of its products (such as softwood plywood) when substantial investments have been made in research and development. Similar opportunities exist for other products. Historically, the United States has been a leader in research in wood science and technology, but that leadership has been declining from a peak immediately after World War II. Significantly, the Wallenberg Award for breakthrough research in forestry and forest product research has been presented only once to a U.S. researcher. The reasons for the decline in research in wood science and technology are numerous. Despite the benefits of wood as a material, federal research investments are very modest. For example, in 1982, the funding of materials research by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which focused mainly on wood and some agricultural crops, was reported to be about $30 million dollars, or only 3 percent of the $1 billion dollars spent on materials research overall. In addition, federal in-house research on wood science and technology is essentially concentrated in a single laboratory the Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin. Federal monies have had little effect on the development of regionally based forestry research at universities. A modest but promising effort to broaden the base of federally conducted research after World War II through the establishment of a Forest Utilization Service at each experiment station was abandoned. The number of undergraduate programs in wood science and tech- nology at universities is declining. Currently, 23 universities in the United States offer some type of program in wood science and technology; because of declining enrollments, four of these have practically abandoned under- graduate education. Graduate education and research, however, continue to various extents at all of the 23 institutions. Doctoral programs are of- fered in 22 of the 23. All institutions face difficult prospects on several fronts. The number of students who are U.S. citizens, for example, is de- clining to such an extent that a significant portion (usually 50 to 60 percent) of the graduate enrollment is currently composed of foreign students (N Moslemi, Chairman, Accreditation Committee, Society of Wood Science and Technologr, University of Idaho, Moscow, personal communication, 19904. In addition to problems in the supply of graduate students, research laboratories in the field of wood science and technology are generally in need of modernization. Available funding is almost always inadequate to meet this need. A number of research areas will contribute appreciably to such topics as the recycling of the substantial amounts of wood and fibers that are cur- rently discarded in landfills. Research on enhancing export opportunities can yield significant results in increased exports from the United States. Biotechnology relating to wood also has substantial potential. Combining
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44 FORESTRY RESEARCH wood with nonwood materials to develop fire-resistant, durable building and industrial materials is becoming increasingly practicable. These are only a few examples of the many profitable areas of research that can be addressed by the wood science and technology community. Such research has the potential to contribute to a vibrant forest products industry as it supplies literally thousands of products to U.S. and global markets. Timber Harvesting Research Timber harvesting is the economic mainstay of many rural commu- nities in the United States and the lifeblood of forest operations in that it provides the funds necessary to build roads and carry out desirable multiple-use forestry practices. Harvesting is also an essential operation for industries using wood and fiber because it is the source of raw material. Additionally, it is the primary silvicultural tool used to achieve a variety of objectives ranging from reforestation to stocking control, and it is there- fore a constructive mechanism for maintaining the forest environment and productivity. Timber harvesting, along with wood-fiber processing and related man- ufacturing, also presents tremendous opportunities for economic growth and development. But retaining the current levels of industrial activity, let alone realizing growth, will require improvements in timber harvesting technology. The improvements are necessary because timber harvesting is currently (1) potentially disruptive and devastating to the forest environ ment and (2) expensive relative to the total cost of the raw material. Des ?ite its im portent and useful aspects, current harvesting technology can cause problems. Heavy machines may compact fragile soils and root systems, improperly laid roads may cause landslides, and logging may bring about undesirable visual impacts over the short term. These often unacceptable problems have reduced harvesting activity in some areas. Such reductions will eventually reduce activity in wood and fiber processing and manufacturing industries. Additionally, the expense of timber harvesting in the United States adds more substantially to the cost of the raw material than it does in other countries, potentially putting our wood-based industries at a global disad- vantage. This, along with our current inability to eliminate unacceptable environmental disruption, may leave our industries and rural communities unable to capitalize on economic opportunities. Current problems in timber harvesting represent three engineering challenges: (1) Negative aspects of timber harvest and silvicultural oper- ations must be reduced or eliminated, (2) efficiency of silvicultural and harvest operations must be increased, and (3) the cost of harvested raw material must be reduced. Engineering research is essential to meeting the challenges and cap
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AREAS OF RESEARCH 45 italizing on opportunities in timber harvesting and wood-based material processing and manufacturing. Evidence of the potential long-term ben- efits of timber harvesting research is seen in the Scandinavian countries, where technology has been developed, through research, to make timber harvesting a highly successful component of their profitable export-oriented wood and wood-fiber industries. Research to Avoid or Minimize Negative Environmental Impacts Dur~ng Harvesi'ng Because harvesting damages the forest, it is essential to design harvesting practices and systems that do not reduce long-term productivity, add unwanted sediment and debris to streams, reduce desirable wildlife habitat, or destroy beautiful forest vistas. In fact, our challenge is to enhance outputs of all valuable forest resources and see that they are sustainable and complementary, not merely to keep the production of one output from destroying another. Our goal should be nothing less than higher timber yields, cleaner water, more fish, more diverse native fauna, and better recreational opportunities. Timber harvesting practices affect all of these outputs and must be carefully managed to provide positive influences. Such a result will require a great deal of research to investigate consequences of various harvest systems operating over varied topography and soils, as well as their application in time and space. Research to Improve the Efficacy of Silvicul~ral and Harvest Machin- ery and Operations. We must learn how to undertake forest harvest and silvicultural operations so that the desired outcome is obtained. Whether through greater mechanization, worker training, better planning, or alter- native harvest and transportation systems, it is essential that operations in the forest have results that are precisely those intended by the forest manager or harvest plan designer. Greater mechanization in the woods can mitigate environmental dam- age if logging practices designed for site-specific topography and stand conditions are used properly. On the other hand, improper use of heavy equipment will exacerbate the problem. Even with more conventional log- ging practices, the challenge to research is to provide forest engineers with information needed to weigh economic against environmental impacts. Re- search investigating mechanized harvesting must especially consider impacts on long-term productivity. A major challenge to forest managers is harvesting on steep slopes, fragile soils, and other sensitive areas that are oD limits to conventional ground equipment. Flexible harvest systems (cable, aerial, and mixtures with ground systems) having low ground impact and capable of perform- ing logging operations over long distances and irregular terrain must be developed and tested.
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46 FORESTRY RESEARCH Research to Reduce Harvesi~ng Costs and Improve Profitability and Safety. Research into productivity improvement and cost reduction is Important because the timber supply is changing often to smaller trees and trees of less desirable shapes and of less desirable species. These changing attributes are often associated with higher logging costs and, in turn, with businesses having greater difficulty remaining profitable and competitive. People are the most important part of any organization, and the logging industry faces an especially serious safety and training problem. Workers' compensation bills, which can approach the value of gross payroll, dictate a strong need for greater emphasis on training and safety. New logging machinery requires sophisticated operator skill. Major improvements in training and safety in the logging industry are possible over the next decade. INTERNATIONAL TRADE, COMPETITION, AND COOPERATION Improvements in international trade, competitiveness, and cooperation in the sustainable production of goods and services from forest resources depend on information. Detailed knowledge about forests and natural resources worldwide is limited at best. Information about international trade is also sketchy, yet trade policies that facilitate economic growth while sustaining the natural resource base are urgently needed. Forest resource inventory and commercial supply characteristics of participants in world markets must be made available if meaningful work on integrated worldwide supply and demand projections is to be initiated. Information, Supply, and Demand Changes in international trade policies, national marketing strategies, and world markets can have significant impacts on the natural resource base. Economic models must be developed that can predict and assess these changes and their consequences on the domestic as well as the worldwide natural resource base. The role of government policies on domestic markets, international trade, competition, and cooperation in production and distribution of forest outputs of goods and services must be explored. Economic models must, over time, describe and analyze forest resource ownership by such characteristics as size, distribution, and managerial objectives. An important goal here is greater understanding of the potential for production of nonmarket goods and services from forest environments and increased ability to assess the value of these products. A corollary objective is the exploration of domestic and international policies that encourage trade in nonconsumptive uses of forest resources. An opportunity exists to obtain matching support for this type of eco- nomic analysis. This is possible through existing legislation for the creation
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AREAS OF ARCH 47 of International Trade Development Centers (ITDCs). This legislation requires interdisciplinary approaches and collaboration between state and federal agencies. Although many states have established promotion and contact programs, most find themselves short of analytical underpinning; implementation of ITDCs, particularly on a regional basis, could help to fill that void. Substantial effort is needed to explore the impacts of env~ronmen- tal constraints on the production and export of wood products. Such constraints can raise COStS. Increases in prices of wood products force greater substitution of commodities that depend on nonrenewable natural resources. Currently, the United States can increase supplies of forest prod- ucts with less environmental degradation than most other nations. Envi- ronmental restrictions imposed worldwide could cause developing countries to depend increasingly on U.S. forest products. Environmental constraints imposed on U.S. production, however, could cause increased exploita- tion elsewhere with detrimental environmental consequences. Research is needed to explore how international trade and debt policies can fos- ter equity among nations in both benefits and costs of environmentally sound management of natural resources coupled with sustainable economic growth. Basic to trade in any market is the value of items exchanged. We clearly need to increase our understanding of prices and values in the exchange of goods and services produced from forests. Many wood products reflect prices that are consistent with their true value; many do not. Noncommodity products of forests are often not priced in accordance with their value, nor are they appropriately recorded in national accounting systems. In- depth studies are needed to understand the role and value of forests in broader environmental issues such as water quality, the carbon cycle, ozone levels, and air pollution. Follow-up studies would provide for the proper accounting of both market and nonmarket values and associated costs of outputs of forest environments. Utilization, Marketing, Employment, and E=hange. Significant gains can be captured from domestic and international wood utilization research to make more efficient use of existing wood supplies. More effective use of forest resources, especially hardwoods, would extend supplies, reduce waste, and slow deforestation. In a number of situations, technological processes in the temperate climates of the United States and other industrial nations may be adapted readily to local conditions and species in the tropics. Returns-on investments in enhanced utilization of wood supplies can be high. Forest-based industry is critical to employment, markets, and inter- national exchange. Forest industry can contribute to local and national
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48 FORESTRY RESEARCH economies in several ways. Employment and income are generated, inputs for other sectors of the economy are provided, and foreign exchange is aug- mented. These contributions, however, depend on basic forest resources, depletion of which can seriously threaten the supply of both wood and nontimber goods and services. Internationally, this threat is real. Mopical deforestation and over-exploitation of natural forests, wasteful harvesting practices and inefficient utilization, and inadequate investment in forest management and reforestation call for both research and action to manage and reduce threats to the resource base. Increased imports impose a high cost on developing nations. Many of these countries have a sufficient base in land and natural resources to meet their domestic industrial and consumption needs at a cost lower than that of import alternatives. These countries and the international community would benefit from major research efforts aimed at enhanced management of forests and promotion of appropriate and sustainable forest- based industries. Major components of this research would be on natural regeneration and perpetuation of species having high commercial value and on improved harvesting systems to increase utilization and reduce logging damage. International trade, competition, and cooperation depend on prices and accounting systems that accurately reflect the value of the forest re- source and its products. A major need exists for research on appropriate and valid concession and pricing policies, especially in tropical countries. Existing research demonstrates that some government policies generate strong economic incentives to accelerate deforestation. Identified research needs include (1) understanding the level and structure of timber royalties and other charges; (2) exploring forest concession policies, including their duration, other license fees, and prescriptions of harvesting methods; and (3) examining trade-oDs between policies that encourage export of logs versus those that facilitate domestic processing. Interdependence and E=ernaliites. The high interdependence of all natural resource systems makes production and distribution decisions ex- tremely difficult. Management decisions impose costs and benefits not only among owners, neighbors, and world markets, but between present and future generations of humankind. These questions and implications of in- terdependence and externalities call for research that integrates a number of disciplines. The stakes here are substantial. They include the quality of air, water, and soil resources, the biological diversity of natural and man- aged systems, and the sustained productivity of the world's forests, crop lands, grazing lands, wetlands, and riparian zones.
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AREAS OF RESEARCH 49 International Competition and Cooperation. Population growth and in- creased worldwide poverty call for coordinated and cooperative remedial efforts. Population pressure and poverty often result in accelerated de- forestation, especially in developing countries. Critical research questions about the impact of growing populations and poverty on international trade in forest products must be investigated in terms of supply and demand pro- jections and prospects. An underlying issue here is the question of whether or not the world's natural resource base can both support population growth and contribute to the diminution of poverty. With an objective of sustain- able economic development worldwide, research must identify nations or resource conditions that promise intrinsic comparative advantage in wood and forest products. The United States has traditionally played a major role in exports and imports of forest products. We need research that would clarify the role of currency exchange in determining international trade. When the U.S. dollar falls in value, U.S. products become relatively inexpensive and exports tend to increase. At the same time, the underlying economic resources, forest land, and production facilities become more valuable as assets to be purchased by foreign investors. Research can help to identify the implications of such prospects. Furthermore, studies can be directed at such questions as why the United States exports logs and imports finished products. Answers will offer strategic insight into actions that trading partners can take to ensure continued gains from increased competition and cooperation. Policy Research. Better international trade, competition, and cooper- ation can be ensured only with resource policies that facilitate attainment of these goals. Both national and international policies for resource use and management are relevant. Policies must be preceded by research that examines some critical questions: (1) What are the effects of major macroe- conomic entities such as the Federal Reserve on forest resources? (2) Why are forest resources in developing countries being depleted so rapidly? (Is it national debt? Agricultural policies?) (3) Reduced deforestation in tropical countries implies economic advantage for industrialized nations in the forestry sector how can this conflict of interests be rectified? (4) What are the forest resource implications of a global carbon tax based on net national emissions of carbon? Forestry research directed toward major societal issues can contribute significantly to progress in formulating policies that ensure sustainable development.
Representative terms from entire chapter: