Gaming with Deadwood: How to Better Teach Forest Protection When Bugs Are Lurking Everywhere
Maintaining healthy forests implies both extracting infested trees and hosting a thriving population of insectivorous birds; therefore, some trees for biodiversity (TFBs) should be left uncut, especially in forests pending an FSC certificate. Inspired by the Operant Learning/Conditioning theory, we designed a training drill for foresters responsible for marking the sanitation fellings and selecting TFBs. The drill was piloted with two groups of students in Rarau-Giumalau natural reserve in Romania and was found to be effective for achieving a certain ratio between trees to be cut and TFBs. It also helps the fieldwork teams get better organised. Even though the new procedure cannot cure aggressive fungal diseases or massive attacks of insects it helps forest rangers perform the two tasks simultaneously.
I am grateful to the two anonymous peer reviewers for their support in improving the first version of this chapter. I also acknowledge Mrs. Monica Vasile for her useful comments and feedback on the second draft of this paper, and to Mr. Dan Grigoroaea, ranger with the Muntii Calimani National Park for valuable hints about the ecologically optimal amount of deadwood per hectare in Norway spruce forests. Many thanks to my colleagues from Suceava office of the National Forest Administration for supporting our research with field data concerning sanitation cuttings.
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