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Leuvensesteenweg 13
3080 Tervuren - Belgium
Tel. (+32) 02 769 52 11
Fax (+32) 02 769 52 42


Wood science underpinning tropical forest ecology and management

International closing symposium of the XYLAREDD project

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26-29 May 2015, Royal Museum for Central Africa (Tervuren, Belgium)


Take a look at the pictures taken during the conference!

The objective of the international symposium “Wood science underpinning tropical forest ecology and management” is exploring how wood science can meet the scientific needs of tropical forestry. We aim at bringing together wood and tropical forest scientists as well as government officers and invite keynote speeches, oral presentations and poster sessions related to the following four subtopics:

  1. Wood anatomy and other identification means for the enforcement of laws and regulations;
  2. Wood density analysis to evaluate carbon stocks of tropical forests and woodlands;
  3. Age determination, growth analysis and dendrochronology of tropical trees;
  4. Wood anatomical functional traits to study and predict forest dynamics.



Tropical forests and woodlands contain substantial carbon stocks, buffer climate changes and produce raw material for local communities/economies and international trade. The public concern for the fate of tropical forests resulted in the creation of a number of mechanisms assuring forests to sustainably produce valuable goods and services.

One of the best-known mechanisms is the REDD+ mechanism of the United Nations aiming at the reduction of carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. Since the Conference of Parties in Poznan in 2008, it comprises a chapter on sustainable tropical forest management. Another mechanism is the CITES convention regulating the international trade of endangered species, including important tropical timbers like American mahogany, afrormosia, ramin and some of the rosewoods and ebonies.
Next to REDD+ and CITES, several instruments have been established to conserve and manage tropical forests, their species and populations: some national forest laws, the FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade) mechanism, the timber regulation of the European Union, the US Lacey Act and a number of forest and timber certification systems.

Sound forest management and effective conservation policies, including the ban of illegal logging, typically need scientific information. Tools from the domain of wood science provide part(s) of this key information. Indeed, wood anatomy allows for verification of the authenticity of the material. The carbon sequestration processes can be evaluated by retrospective growth analysis performed on stem discs or on pith-to-bark wood samples. Finally, high-resolution data on wood density hold key information for the development of models on carbon stocks.

The conference will be held jointly with both the Afro European Group of the International Association of Wood Anatomists and the IUFRO Unit 1.02.00 - Tropical and subtropical silviculture.





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