By Klaus J Puettmann; K Dave Coates; Christian C Messier
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Additional info for A critique of silviculture : managing for complexity
With the help of influential supporters and an increased understanding of the silvicultural and ecological effects of thinning on forest dynamics, thinning quickly became a common silvicultural practice throughout central Europe. In contrast to the earlier interest, the revival of thinning as a silvicultural practice was driven by a better understanding of the impact of thinning on the overall growing conditions for residual trees, rather than as a mechanism to fulfill a specific need for wood products (Mantel 1990).
Obviously, the information in the label, and thus the need for labels, was lost to North American foresters, who were unaware of the particular and local conditions in these regions. In essence, early foresters in North America were taught that they did not need to start from scratch and did not have to go through the process of assessing ecological, economic, and social conditions to develop their own locally adapted silvicultural systems. European systems were considered viable options for North America, and a major task of educated silviculturists became to select which one of these systems to apply in the various forests of the new world.
Two steps: (1) the development of a locally adapted set of practices, and (2) the expansion of these practices as they metamorphosed into a system for establishing, tending, and harvesting forests. The interplay between these two components was influenced by a variety of factors, not the least of them being the personalities involved. Until the eighteenth century, silviculturists relied on experience (mostly verbal) and on the analysis of local social, economic, and ecological constraints and conditions (Hausrath 1982) to select their silvicultural practices.