Managing woodland and other ramblings

A woodland ride

(Avon wildlife trust (c) Mike Martin)

I’ve read a fair bit lately on the pro’s and con’s of woodland management, particularly in respect of the relative value of coppicing. You can read a bit about coppicing here . In my view the jury is firmly out on the value of coppicing as a straightforward conservation tool but it does most certainly promote interest and get people talking, it also allows for the production of sustainable wood products and fuel, see here: but a glance at the ride in this wood in Avon shows that a mixed community effect can be achieved without destruction. I think that there should be a place for all management techniques (including doing nothing) and hopefully this will give the required mix of woodland habitats.

Recent times have seen me trying to get into using R for stats and modelling and last week I attended the Sheffield R users group organised by Simon Cross where I saw some super 3d visualisations and heat maps in a talk by Jonathon Minton available here, any one who is any doubt about the power of R as a visual tool should check this out. I can also recommend this text which introduces R by Mark Gardener .

I attended the BES symposium on the evolutionary ecology of infectious disease recently and found the speakers to be both interesting and entertaining, well worth the early morning train journey, I was also impressed by the live twitter feed provided by @Bkoskella.

Finally, does everyone know that the Society of Biology has a new home on the web? Their new webpage can be found at .


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