Boosting conifer seed production will benefit woodland wildlife, says Forestry Commission
The Forestry Commission has published a new Research Note aiming to help managers and planners of conifer woods to assess the seed resources in their woods and manage them in ways which maximise the quantity and continuity of seed production.
Entitled ‘Understanding the provision of conifer seed for woodland species’, the publication shows that planting a variety of species ensures a diverse age structure in the forest and thinning.
Co-author Alice Broome, from Forest Research, said: “Conifer seed provides an important food resource for many woodland birds and small mammals, including some of Britain’s rarest species.
“However, quantity and continuity of seed supply are not guaranteed, because cone and seed crops fluctuate annually, they vary from species to species, and seed availability is affected by climate, species and tree age.
“This Research Note explains how woodland managers can influence continuity and quantity to maximise the food resource for wildlife, and the length of the periods it is available.”
The publication is downloadable as a PDF document on the Forestry Commission website.