Forest Research Division has started to undertake research projects since the foundation of Research Institute of Forests and Rangelands (RIFR) in 1968. Taking into account that Iran is a low forest cover country, the primary activities were concentrated on adaptation and elimination trials using 330 different fast growing exotic (needle-leaved and broad-leaved) tree species and provenances in different ecological regions of the country.Forest Research Division has started to undertake research projects since the foundation of Research Institute of Forests and Rangelands (RIFR) in 1968. Taking into account that Iran is a low forest cover country, the primary activities were concentrated on adaptation and elimination trials using 330 different fast growing exotic (needle-leaved and broad-leaved) tree species and provenances in different ecological regions of the country.At the present time, considering the ecological regions, the strategy of our studies is based on ecosystem approach. With new trends in the country and the world, FRD is dealing with sustainable forest management, close to nature silviculture, rehabilitation of degraded forests areas by using different reforestation methods as well as afforestation methods in non-forested areas, in order to decrease the pressure on natural forests and producing wood out of forest areas.
Subdivisions:1- Forest Ecology and Forest Science ۲- Forest Management and Biometry Research Group3- Forest Plantation and Tree Breeding Research Group4- Forest Soil Research Group ۵- Socio-Economic Issues and Forest Utilization Research Division
Also in the international framework of forest research division, a group called “Beech Research Group” is established and has cooperation with IUFRO.
◊ Forest Ecology and Silviculture Research GroupThe main strategy of this research group is based on close to nature Silviculture and treatment of forest trees and stands, taking into account their natural structure and requirements.Duties:
*Investigations on the influence of ecological factors on presence and growth of forest tree species;*Study on unique forest ecosystems;*Application of silvicultural systems and tending operations in natural and man made forests.
Some of undergoing and completed projects within this group are:*Site demands of forest tree species on different ecological regions;*Role of ecological factors (light, temperature, moisture etc.) on establishment and growth of seedlings and tree species;*Study of seeding cycle in different tree species;*Investigation on qualitative and quantitative characteristics of natural regeneration under different condition;*Structure of natural forest stands;*Application of even-aged and uneven-aged methods in different forest stands;*Impact of silvicultural operations (thinning, lightening) on the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of natural and man-made stands (e.g. on beech, maple, pine and spruce plantations);
*Study of development stages on natural undisturbed forest stands*Impact of silvicultural operations in coppice stands (western oak);*Influence of environmental and genetic factors on the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of oriental beech;*Studies on long-lived trees in different parts of Iran;*Study the ecosystem of Mangrove forests in South Iran.
Achievements:Among activities of this group several reports, 3 books and more than 30 articles in different scientific journals have been published which includes forest and poplar research periodical, journal of natural resources of Iran and research and Sazandegi magazine.
◊ Forest Management and Biometry Research GroupDuties:
*Study and investigation on different forestry techniques in quantitative production,*Investigation on the degree of forestry projects accomplishment,*Evaluation of different forest management techniques emphasizing on sustainable development and role of local communities,*Habitation division and determining their degree of desirability,*Using GIS technology in estimating growing stock in forest,*Creating forest species capacity tables and investigation of its application and precision,*Biometric studies in forest and determining the growth of essential forest species,
*Comparing evaluation methods in forests and determining the best method based on precision and cost,*Method optimization in forest data collections,*Study and investigation on new data collection methods in forest.
Typical Research Projects:
*Application of silvicultural operation in even-aged and uneven-aged stands in order to achieve appropriate regeneration in beech forests,*Allometric scaling of forest species in north Iran,*Optimum and regular evaluation on northern forest ecosystem by GIS,*Investigating upper boundary changes of forest by GIS,*Forestry model projects in Vaz research forest,
*Establishing temporarily network panels in forest,*Investigating geostatic method in estimating growing stock in afforestation.
More than 10 papers and reports from the activities of this group have been published in scientific journals such as “Forest and Poplar Research Periodical”, “Natural Resources of Iran Journal” and other magazine.
◊ Forest Plantation and Tree Breeding Research Group
The main objective of Forest Plantation and Tree Breeding Group is to develop the best methods and plans for conservation of soil and water, rehabilitation of degraded forests, development of forests and increasing wood production and other forest products also sustainable use of forest genetic resources.
*Determination of best methods on collection time and storage of seeds and necessary treatment for planting,*Investigation on best methods of seedling production in nursery and plantation in forest area,*Investigation on adaptability and introducing various species at different ecological situations,*Investigation on endemic and exotic provenances,*Site preparation methods for plantation,*Determination of the best plantation systems,*Investigation on agro-silvo-pastural systems,*Water and fertilizer requirements of trees,*Determination of principals for selection management of seed production area and stands,*Impact of biotic and a-biotic stress on resistance and tolerance of forest tree populations species,*Development of superior varieties (by progeny tests, hybridization and etc.),
*Establishments of seed orchards,*Evaluation, conservation and advancement of genetic variability on forest trees by in situ and ex situ conservation methods.
*Investigation on adaptability of various species (almost 300 species and provenances) at different ecological regions.*National project of the pioneer afforestation in south of Iran.*Establishment of seed orchard (Ash and Lime in northern Iran).*Plantation trials with multi-purposes tree species.*Impact of afforestation on restoration of damaged forest ecosystems by Kuwait burning oil wells.*Application of swage in forest plantation.
*Impact of different light and hormonal treatments on sexual and asexual regeneration of juniper.
*Genetic diversity and differentiation of oriental beech (Fagus orientalis Lipsky) populations as the basis for development of silvicultural and gene conservation strategy in Iran.
*Gene flow among Oriental beech (Fagus orientalis Lipsky) populations.
*Effects of genetic characteristics on form of beech tree.
In this group many reports and more than 20 papers in scientific journals and magazines have been published.
◊ Forest Soil Research Group
The Forest Soil Research Group is responsible for conducting all research programs which are anyway related to forest soils.
Duties:*Investigation on forest soil types identification and mapping*Investigation on relationship between soil and forest types and their interactions*Investigation on the effects of soil properties (texture, moisture, compaction,…) on establishment of forest trees seedlings*Investigation on soil biology of forest lands*Investigating the effects of forest plantation on soil properties
*Investigation on nutrition demands of different forest tree species*Investigation on forest nursery soil requirements (productivity and physical-chemical properties).
*Identification and mapping soil types of Vaz Forest*Nutritional demands of Caspian forest nurseries*Effects of different Eucalypt species on ground vegetation and soil physical, chemical and productivity properties.
Achievements:Among all activities of this group there are many reports and more than 10 articles published in scientific- research magazines including the Quarterly Iranian Journal of Forest and Polar Research (IJFPR).
◊ Socio-Economic Issues and Forest Utilization Research Division
Duties:*Investigation and study social and economical structure and their role in natural resources destruction,*Investigating various methods of human cooperation in conservation issue,*Utilization and development of forest resources,*Investigating the effects of livestock and human invasion on forest vegetation structure and transformations,*Investigation on the fuel wood replacing method and its effect with other energy sources,
*Economical investigation of different techniques of seed and seedling production and plantation in site,*Investigation on the improvement techniques of forest trees utilization,*Investigation on best utilization methods in natural and man made forests,*Investigating damages caused by silvicultural methods,*Investigation and determining the best utilization methods in silviculture,*Investigating the turnover in utilization systems and selecting appropriate system in various condition,*Study the technical issues in road construction and appropriate methods for conservation and side roads stabilization.
*Investigation on current methods and determining the most economical way of seed collection, seedling production and transformation to sites of essential broadleaved species in northern forests.*Designing Socio-economical pattern of Vaz research forest.*Determining effective factors on implementing natural resources projects in Research Institute of Forest and
Rangelands.*Investigating the effects of managing forest livestock decline program and clonizing forest inhabitants in sustainable development of Abrize Astrachay basin.*Investigating effective parameters in Zagros natural resources management.*Soil survey for wood transport by GIS system in Vaz research forest.*Research project on natural resources optimum management in Caspian Sea watershed area.*Investigating potential facilities in order to develop interior villages in Vaz research forest focusing on pressure decrease on natural resources lands.*A study on road transportation network of forest products and selecting proper machinery in Vaz research forest