Newtownmountkennedy, Ireland
Newtownmountkennedy, Ireland
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Mc Conigley C.,University College Dublin | Lally H.,University College Dublin | Lally H.,Mayo Institute of Technology, Galway | Little D.,Wicklow Enterprise Park | And 2 more authors.
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2017

Aquatic buffer zones (ABZs) are areas of the riparian zone managed to protect streams from the potential impacts of commercial conifer forests and associated forestry operations In Ireland. Previous research identified that the dominant vegetation communities in ABZs are wet grassland and scrub habitats and that the vegetation communities are broadly determined by the soil type (peaty or mineral). One of the primary management options available to forest managers is whether to plant native broadleaves in the ABZ or leave them to be naturally colonised. The present study sought to determine the degree to which the vegetation of ABZs influences the composition and structure of associated aquatic macroinvertebrate communities and how this might inform their future management in particular the decision of whether to afforest the ABZ with broadleaf trees. The macroinvertebrate communities from stream on peaty and mineral soils with ABZs dominated by four vegetation communities were sampled, streams bordered by grassland habitats, scrub habitats, no ABZ i.e. conifer trees planted to the streams edge and control streams with no conifer forests in the vicinity. The results of this study showed that the composition and structure of the macroinvertebrate community varied significantly between streams on peaty and mineral soils, but was largely unaffected by the ABZ type. The differences between communities across soil type can be attributed to the lower abundance and richness of Ephemeroptera and conversely the higher abundance and richness of Plecoptera in streams on peaty soils. The lack of a consistent effect of ABZ type on the macroinvertebrate community illustrates the more dominant effect of water chemistry driven by soil type particularly episodic acidity. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.

Mc Conigley C.,University College Dublin | Lally H.,University College Dublin | Lally H.,Mayo Institute of Technology, Galway | O'Callaghan M.,University College Dublin | And 3 more authors.
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2015

The riparian zone is the interface between aquatic and terrestrial habitats and forms the ecotone where the two ecosystems intersect. Areas of the riparian zone utilised for the protection of water quality are common today, and are either left undisturbed or managed to intercept or modify impacts from adjacent land uses. In Ireland, aquatic buffer zones (ABZs) are used to protect streams from the potential impacts of commercially managed conifer forests and associated high impact forestry operations. In 1991, the Forest Service (currently of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine) introduced the requirement for ABZs to be put in place on all streams identified on Ordinance Survey maps at either afforestation or restocking after clearfell. The width of the ABZs range from 10-25. m depending on the slope of the river bank in combination with the susceptibility of the soils to erode. Current practice is to leave the ABZ undisturbed allowing for natural colonization by a mix of species and establishment of various habitat types. This study describes the habitats and vegetation composition of 86 naturally vegetated riparian zones (65 ABZs in commercial conifer forests and 21 control sites) on six soil types, with a view to informing their optimum management. Across all sites, 392 taxa, within 32 habitat types were identified. The most common habitats were wet grasslands and scrub. Little variation was noted between the structure and composition of plant communities in ABZs (on afforested and clearfell & replanted) and control sites within a soil type. The communities did differ across soil types between the mineral and peaty soils, which were independent of the forest type. Within a soil type, ABZs are maintaining similar habitat and species diversity to that found on control sites indicating that current forest management practices are not impacting plant diversity in the ABZs. It is noted that tree species are not a feature of the riparian zone on peat soils and thus tree planting is not recommended as a management option unless used to control water temperatures. There is scope for tree planting on mineral soils, as control sites contained woodland habitats which were absent from the ABZs of clearfell and replanted sites. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Finnegan J.,National University of Ireland | Regan J.T.,National University of Ireland | de Eyto E.,Marine Institute of Ireland | Ryder E.,Dundalk Institute of Technology | And 2 more authors.
Ecological Engineering | Year: 2012

Forestry on peatland throughout the world is now focused on minimising destructive effects to the surrounding environment, especially during harvesting. These effects may be mitigated through the use of well-developed riparian buffers zones (RBZs). However, much of the commercial forestry planted in Ireland and the UK in the mid-20th century was planted without adequate RBZs. The creation of new RBZs prior to clearfelling may be a possible mitigation measure in these circumstances. The aim of this paper was to assess the nutrient content and phosphorus (P) adsorption capacity of the soil, and survival of planted saplings in a RBZ, positioned downslope from a standing forest and partly covered with brash mats, five years after its establishment. Dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) concentrations were significantly higher under the brash mats in the RBZ when compared to all other areas. The standing forest had the highest concentrations of ammonium nitrogen (NH 4-N), while total oxidised nitrogen (TON) was similar for all areas. Water extractable phosphorus and desorption-adsorption testing also confirmed the high concentrations of P under the brash mats, but P did not leach through the peat to the stream. The overall survival rate of the saplings was relatively high, with over half of Quercus robur (oak) (57%), Sorbus aucuparia (rowan) (57%) and Betula pendula (birch) (51%) surviving. Salix cinerea (willow) (22%), Alnus glutinosa (alder) (25%) and Ilex aquifolium (holly) (44%) did not survive as successfully. The RBZ was capable of providing nutrients for the survival of planted saplings, fertilizing the peat with degrading brash material and preventing elevated levels of nutrients entering the adjacent aquatic ecosystem. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Hickey C.,University College Dublin | Kelly S.,UCD | Carroll P.,UCD | O'Connor J.,Coillte
Forest Science | Year: 2015

We describe a set of nonparametric and machine learning models to forecast the proportion of planned end products (PEP) that can be extracted from a forest compartment. We determine which forest crop attributes are significant in predicting the product proportions (of sawlog, pallet, stake, and pulp) based on an Irish data set supplied by Coillte, the Irish state forestry company. Dirichlet regression and neural networks are applied to predict the product proportions and evaluated against a multivariate multiple regression benchmark model. Based on predictive performance, the neural network performs slightly better in comparison to Dirichlet regression. However, assessing the model logic and taking account of user interpretation, the Dirichlet regression outperforms the neural network. Both models are also compared to an existing rule-based model used by Coillte. The nonparametric and machine learning techniques provided consistent reliable models to accurately predict the PEP proportions. The two proposed models extend the versatility of nonparametric and machine learning techniques to areas such as forestry. © 2015 Society of American Foresters.

Grace J.C.,Scion Research | Brownlie R.K.,Scion Research | Kennedy S.G.,Coillte
New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science | Year: 2015

Background: Branches support the foliage needed for tree growth, but if the branch diameter is too large it may constitute a defect when the tree is assessed for timber quality and when the tree is processed into boards. Consequently branch diameter is an important consideration when developing a silvicultural regime. The objectives of this study were: (a) to develop site-specific models to predict branch diameter variation with position on the stem; and (b) to use the models to evaluate the influence of initial and post-thinning stand density on branch diameter in unpruned stands of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) at two sites in New Zealand. Methods: Branch diameters were measured using a photogrammetric technique, TreeD, on pre-selected sample trees from unpruned treatments in two silviculture experiments, one in the North Island and one in the South Island of New Zealand. The data were used to develop site-specific models to predict branch diameter along the stem. The models were then used to interpret response to a thinning at a stand age of approximately 10 years when the base of the green crown was still close to ground-level, and to make comparisons with a branch diameter limit of 40 mm. Results: The models developed indicated that previously formed branches were influenced by the increased growing space created by thinning. At all three post-thinning stand densities (250, 500 and 750 stems ha−1), the diameter of some branches on the mean tree within a stand were likely to exceed 40 mm. In unthinned treatments, the model indicated that an initial stand density of at least 1333 stems ha−1 would be needed to keep branch diameters on the mean tree below 40 mm along the whole stem at age 29 years. Conclusions: This study indicates the importance of considering initial stand density, post-thinning stand density and timing of thinning when designing a silviculture regime that aims to control branch diameter. © 2015, Grace et al.

Harvey C.D.,National University of Ireland | Williams C.D.,Liverpool John Moores University | Dillon A.B.,Coillte | Dillon A.B.,Exosect Ltd | Griffin C.T.,National University of Ireland
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2016

Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) are globally important inundative biological control agents. Their widespread use makes environmental risk assessment important, but very few comprehensive post-application risk assessments have been conducted for EPN. We apply a rigorous risk analysis procedure to the use of EPN applied in a forest ecosystem to suppress the large pine weevil (Hylobius abietis). In this synthesis, we provide a quantitative evaluation of five risk categories: (a) establishment, (b) dispersal, (c) host range, (d) direct non-target effects and (e) indirect non-target effects. A low level of risk was identified (35–51 out of a possible total of 125). Species exotic to the clear-fell forest ecosystem (Steinernema carpocapsae and Heterorhabditis downesi) were accorded a lower overall risk status than native species and strains (Steinernema feltiae), largely as a result of their shorter persistence in the target environment. We conclude that EPN are a low risk viable alternative control for pine weevil compared to the higher risk conventional control using pyrethroid or neonicotinoid insecticides. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

News Article | January 7, 2016

Siemens has already been lined up for the first phase of Galway Wind Park Utility SSE and Irish forestry group Coillte will press on with the 105MW second stage of the Galway Wind Park after securing €176m ($191m) of financing – a deal they say is the largest yet for a single wind asset in Ireland.

News Article | January 29, 2016

Siemens has received two orders for onshore wind projects in Ireland, together totaling 172 MW. According to an announcement made by the German multinational today on its website, Siemens received two orders for onshore wind projects in Ireland. Siemens will provide 36 SWT-3.0-101 D3 direct drive wind turbines to the Cloosh Valley Wind Farm — also known as Galway Wind Park Phase 2 — which will add 108 MW to the project and Ireland’s renewable energy capacity. The Galway Wind Park is part of SSE Renewables’ development of a wind farm cluster in the region, which was preceded by Phase 1, for which Siemens provided 22 SWT-3.0-101 wind turbines. The Cloosh Valley project is the second phase of the cluster. In addition, a second order for 20 SWT-3.2-101 wind turbines will be delivered to the Irish Sliabh Bawn Wind Farm in County Roscommon, which will add 64 MW. The Sliabh Bawn Wind Farm project is being built on Sliabh Bawn Mountain, south east of Strokestown, and will provide the equivalent amount of clean energy of approximately 41,000 local households. “With 2,400 MW of installed capacity, wind energy in the Republic of Ireland is not only a growing sector but also an industry creating jobs and benefiting communities,” said Thomas Richterich, CEO Onshore of Siemens’ Wind Power and Renewables Division. “In this context the projects with our customers SSE Renewables, Bord na Mona, and Coillte are of special significance to us. With a total capacity of 172 megawatts, the Cloosh Valley and Sliabh Bawn wind farms will contribute significantly to the Irish Government’s renewable goals.” Siemens expects that commissioning for both projects will take place in 2017, and both orders include Siemens 15 year service agreement.    Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”   Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10.   Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.  

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