Managing Eucalyptus plantations under global changes
Eucalypt plantations cover approximately 20 million hectares worldwide and are expanding rapidly to provide the raw material for wood, paper, and biofuel products as well as large amounts of firewood and charcoal for domestic uses. Breeding programs and silvicultural practices must be revisited to face the ongoing global changes. Drought periods are predicted to increase in many regions as well as the cost of fertilizers (due to the scarcity of phosphorus and potassium world resources, and the cost of fossil energy needed to produce N fertilizers). Moreover, the development of pests and diseases should be a major threat in the future. Replacing large areas of pastures and crops by highly productive eucalypt plantations is likely to modify the carbon, water and nutrient cycles in tropical and subtropical landscapes, with ecological, economic and social consequences.
As in previous IUFRO meetings (Bordeaux 1990, Hobart 1995, Salvador 1997, Valdivia 2001, Aveiro 2004, Durban 2007, Porto Seguro 2011, Nanning 2015), this conference will be a great opportunity for scientists and managers of forest plantations to present the recent advances in silviculture and genetics and to improve our understanding of the response of eucalypts to biotic and abiotic stresses. The ecosystem services influenced by eucalypt monocultures and mixed-species plantations with eucalypt trees will be addressed.
The conference will be organized in plenary sessions to promote interdisciplinary discussions between forest managers and researchers specialized in tree breeding, silviculture, forest pathology, as well as environmental and social issues. A pre-conference tour in southern France is in preparation to present the state of the art of the silviculture and breeding in European eucalypt plantations.
Jean-Paul LACLAU, Chairman
CIRAD, UMR Eco&Sols
Jean-Marc BOUVET, coordinator unit 2.08.03, CIRAD, UMR Agap