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Speaker: Professor Francis E (Jack) Putz, Department of Biology, University of Florida
In this talk Jack explores the likely fates of natural production forests in the tropics as determined by market forces, labor availability, government policies and enforcement, and cultural values that interact in complex ways with the diverse impacts of climate change and the many effects of globalization. After discussing the difference between forest degradation and management, he presents three different theoretical trajectories for tropical production forests: bad business as usual; reduced-impact logging (RIL); and, RUIL (insert a U for “un-wanted”) plus silvicultural interventions of various intensities. Most of the talk focuses on the factors that influence which trajectories will likely be taken and how forest fates might be improved.
Jack is a professor of biology and forestry at the University of Florida as well as the mis-manager of his own 50 ha of abused pine savanna. He teaches courses in botany, ecology, and forestry at UF and various field research methods courses around the tropics. His research focuses on the ecological basis of tropical forest management, fire ecology, savanna restoration, and experimental archaeology. In the early 80s when he was a NATO Post-doctoral Fellow at the Oxford Forestry Institute he gave a similarly sweeping seminar about tropical forests that was shredded by Collier Dawkins, Tim Whitmore, and other luminaries–he expects no better treatment in response to this talk.