Trees, Roots, Fungi, & Soils (Part 2)

22 12 2009

On June 30 of this year I presented a paper titled “Forest Vegetation and Soil Succession” at a gathering of UK and US arboriculturists at the Linnean Society, Burlington House, London. The event, “Trees, Roots, Fungi, & Soils 2”, was the second of two meetings on the topic of soils in arboriculture organized by Neville Fay of Treework Environmental Practice.

The first meeting, “Trees, Roots, Fungi, & Soils 1”, was held in November of 2008 at the National Museum at Cardiff, Wales. At that meeting I presented the paper “A holistic approach to mitigating pathogenic effects on trees”. A copy of that paper can be found here.

Catharine Stott attended the second meeting in London and has written an excellent recap of the talks here.

Excerpts from Catharine Stott’s article:

“Independent scientist Dr Lee Klinger was once again over from California with a fascinating take on climax vegetation. He explained that, contrary to popular belief, forests and woodlands continue to evolve beyond what we regard as their climax state of ancient trees, particularly if there is no natural disturbance to halt and hinder succession. Indeed, if left alone and undisturbed, forest vegetation will succeed into peat bogs. Dr Klinger cited his studies of ancient forests and successions of vegetation on the slopes of Mount Edgecombe in Alaska, where all stages of vegetation succession can be seen. He argued that if we want to keep our old growth forests as forests, it is important that we allow and perhaps manage natural disturbances, such as landslips and fires.”

“In summing up the day, Neville Fay spoke more about Treework Environmental Practice’s plans to develop arboricultural practices that focus more coherently on the soil environment as a means of assessment and treatment. He has a suspicion that in the future arboriculturists will become soil specialists and relatively speaking most assessment and work will take place in that region, and very little to the crown. Without ignoring the huge weight of nursery and in vitro experimental investigation, his preferred approach is from an ecosystem perspective, hoping to find ways to look at the whole tree growing in its context, informed more by the organic model. With this in mind he is working with Laverstoke Laboratories, Lee Klinger, Olaf Ribeiro, Myerscough College and others to explore soil factors associated with rapid decline in mature trees and to compare a range of remediation measures.”

A copy of the June 2009 paper I gave at the Linnean Society is available here.

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