Dynamic Landscape 1 
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THE DYNAMIC LANDSCAPE Considering all the environmental and socioeconomic influences that affect forest growth, it is remarkablethat, overmillennia, plantationforesters have an exceptionallygoodbattingaverage inestablishing plantations that turned out pretty much as they had perceived they would  often long after they had passed on. The strength of successful plantation foresters is that they tend to operate on a wellhoned intuition of dynamical systems and only sparingly on rigid, narrowlyfocussed statistical models. The objective of this sectionis to take some of themystery out of the forester’s intuition by describing newandemerging paradigms that are helping to give a better understanding of forest dynamics. The terminology is somewhat novel to forestry. Fortunately, therearemanyinsightful internet sites andsoftwarepackages whichgivetheterminology and demonstrate the basic principles of dynamical systems paradigms. These come under the heading of “experimental mathematics” and are much more graphical than mathematical, per se. Acase in point, is the abject failure of a pine plantationat Trepassey on one hand; while, on the other hand, a fewkilometres to the west, is the phenomenal growth of Sitka spruce in three small plots such that the basal areas of some trees are off the scale in growth and yield tables for prime boreal forests. 50 years ago, a forester whowould have predicted the pine plantationwouldfailwouldbeconsideredwise. Ontheother hand the same forester would have been ridiculed for predicting correctly that the Sitka spruce would have grown to 1216mtall with 50+ cmdbhinless than50 years onamost abominable site by current forest classification standards. However, the results, i.e., the failure of the pine and successes of the spruce, would not surprise thosewho have acquired an appreciation of the intricacies of environmental factors. ThelateH.L. Lewis, who planted the spruce plots, but not the pine plantation, naturally had in mind reasonable expectations of good survival and growth, that was based on an intuitive sense of landscape dynamics. However, even the lateMr. Lewis would not have imagined such spectacular results in so short a time. Like architects and engineers, foresters rely on Euclide’s “perfect” dimensions of length, area and volume, i.e., topological having dimensions 1, 2 and 3 respectively, to provide a generalised description of the size of trees and extent of forests. Likewise foresters rely on standard statistical models and ecological classification schemes to establish conventions of ‘normal’ and ‘aberrant’ forests and forest practices. In forestry, as in politics, there is no such thing as ‘normality’  only constant change. That is why forest regulations and silvicultural guidelines are constantly being revised. In architecture and engineering, Euclidean dimensions and standard statistics works well simply because extreme precision in building and manufacturing processes is achievable in controlled environments. By contrast, a forest is the product of an uncontrolled natural environment. In other words, the irregular dynamics of the natural environment begets the irregular geometry of the forest such that Euclidean dimension andstandardstatistics can describethemonly inthecrudest terms. Naturally, foresters arecognizant of thefact that the harsher and more dynamic the natural environment the more irregular and unpredictable is forest growth. Unfortunately, foresters bound by conventional practices and policies, often don’t factor in the dynamics of the natural environment into silvicultural routines. Asimple example, planting is still laid out in square blocks and straight rows on exposed sites where irregularity of planting and species compositionwould produce better results. Another example is the windthrowrisk models. Unfortunately, ‘risk models’ are often redundant (when they explain the obvious), unreliable (as in simple linearregression models) and somewhat symptomatic of inappropriate silvicultural practices with respect to the physical environment. It hardly needs stating that the harsher the physical environment, the faster and more complex are the ecological changes. And while it is acceptable to have reasonable predictions as to how a plantation will develop, it is foolhardy to hang on tenaciously to one ‘s expectations in the face of constant economic and environmental changes. Of course, many changes in the landscape are obvious. What is not so obvious, is innumerable unpredictable and imperceptible small natural events which initiate wholesale changes in the landscape. More to the point, because of these small changes it is not possible to give a precise set of
Object Description
Title  Dynamic Landscape 
Type  Text 
Resource Type  Book 
Format  image/jpeg; application/pdf 
Language  eng 
Collection  Centre for Newfoundland Studies  Digitized Books 
Sponsor  Centre for Newfoundland Studies 
Source  Print text held in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies. 
Repository  Memorial University of Newfoundland. Libraries. Centre for Newfoundland Studies 
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CONTENTdm file name  152049.cpd 
Description
Title  Dynamic Landscape 1 
PDF File  (0.7MB)http://collections.mun.ca/PDFs/cns/DynamicLandscape.pdf 
Transcript  THE DYNAMIC LANDSCAPE Considering all the environmental and socioeconomic influences that affect forest growth, it is remarkablethat, overmillennia, plantationforesters have an exceptionallygoodbattingaverage inestablishing plantations that turned out pretty much as they had perceived they would  often long after they had passed on. The strength of successful plantation foresters is that they tend to operate on a wellhoned intuition of dynamical systems and only sparingly on rigid, narrowlyfocussed statistical models. The objective of this sectionis to take some of themystery out of the forester’s intuition by describing newandemerging paradigms that are helping to give a better understanding of forest dynamics. The terminology is somewhat novel to forestry. Fortunately, therearemanyinsightful internet sites andsoftwarepackages whichgivetheterminology and demonstrate the basic principles of dynamical systems paradigms. These come under the heading of “experimental mathematics” and are much more graphical than mathematical, per se. Acase in point, is the abject failure of a pine plantationat Trepassey on one hand; while, on the other hand, a fewkilometres to the west, is the phenomenal growth of Sitka spruce in three small plots such that the basal areas of some trees are off the scale in growth and yield tables for prime boreal forests. 50 years ago, a forester whowould have predicted the pine plantationwouldfailwouldbeconsideredwise. Ontheother hand the same forester would have been ridiculed for predicting correctly that the Sitka spruce would have grown to 1216mtall with 50+ cmdbhinless than50 years onamost abominable site by current forest classification standards. However, the results, i.e., the failure of the pine and successes of the spruce, would not surprise thosewho have acquired an appreciation of the intricacies of environmental factors. ThelateH.L. Lewis, who planted the spruce plots, but not the pine plantation, naturally had in mind reasonable expectations of good survival and growth, that was based on an intuitive sense of landscape dynamics. However, even the lateMr. Lewis would not have imagined such spectacular results in so short a time. Like architects and engineers, foresters rely on Euclide’s “perfect” dimensions of length, area and volume, i.e., topological having dimensions 1, 2 and 3 respectively, to provide a generalised description of the size of trees and extent of forests. Likewise foresters rely on standard statistical models and ecological classification schemes to establish conventions of ‘normal’ and ‘aberrant’ forests and forest practices. In forestry, as in politics, there is no such thing as ‘normality’  only constant change. That is why forest regulations and silvicultural guidelines are constantly being revised. In architecture and engineering, Euclidean dimensions and standard statistics works well simply because extreme precision in building and manufacturing processes is achievable in controlled environments. By contrast, a forest is the product of an uncontrolled natural environment. In other words, the irregular dynamics of the natural environment begets the irregular geometry of the forest such that Euclidean dimension andstandardstatistics can describethemonly inthecrudest terms. Naturally, foresters arecognizant of thefact that the harsher and more dynamic the natural environment the more irregular and unpredictable is forest growth. Unfortunately, foresters bound by conventional practices and policies, often don’t factor in the dynamics of the natural environment into silvicultural routines. Asimple example, planting is still laid out in square blocks and straight rows on exposed sites where irregularity of planting and species compositionwould produce better results. Another example is the windthrowrisk models. Unfortunately, ‘risk models’ are often redundant (when they explain the obvious), unreliable (as in simple linearregression models) and somewhat symptomatic of inappropriate silvicultural practices with respect to the physical environment. It hardly needs stating that the harsher the physical environment, the faster and more complex are the ecological changes. And while it is acceptable to have reasonable predictions as to how a plantation will develop, it is foolhardy to hang on tenaciously to one ‘s expectations in the face of constant economic and environmental changes. Of course, many changes in the landscape are obvious. What is not so obvious, is innumerable unpredictable and imperceptible small natural events which initiate wholesale changes in the landscape. More to the point, because of these small changes it is not possible to give a precise set of 
CONTENTdm file name  152034.pdfpage 