Working in forestry from a biologists point of view is quite interesting.
Work days consist of field work and office days, what predominates depends on the season. The interesting part is, of course, working in nature. We conduct various measurements. For example, one type of measurements is called constant sample surfaces. There has to be a team of two, equipped with measure tapes, compass, maps, gps and a folder with the specification sheets. The maps and gps lead us to the exact spot on the particular surface where we monitor the state of the forest, the state of particular trees and wood increment.
The work is awesome because we’re basically paid to hike. I get to observe the awakening forests in the morning and encounter forest animals: foxes, deer, squirrels, salamander, fish, crustacea, amphibia, birds, the list goes on… I also observe the crawling world of invertebrates; Decapoda, ants, earthworms… I get to listen to bird songs all morning and can now identify by sound and sight almost all of the local dwelling ones – goals achieved, yay!
Working in a position like this gives one the perspective of how different biologists and foresters actually are. This way it becomes completely clear why we studied in different branches. From the first look of it – at least I thought so – we aren’t that different, clearly we all are interested in nature, plants, animals and their preservation. It turns out we don’t have as much in common in those areas as I thought. Some foresters chose this branch namely for the reasons I named, others are more into wood and profit. The latter was something I learned a new. Maybe it’s something that should be clear from the start. Peter Wohlleben has described well where forestry goes off track. On universities they primarily learn about forest management. In authors words, he only knew about forests as much as a butcher knows about animal feelings. Where he wanted to know how forest ecosystems function, they learned about cutting down healthy trees in their lush growth and where to spray chemical products. So he removed himself from that world and wrote the book The Hidden Life of Trees : What They Feel, How They Communicate-Discoveries from a Secret World. Long story short. 🙂
The book gives a new perpective of the forests and individual trees. Basically it shows just how little we actually know about trees.
Our forests (in Central Europe) mostly consist of the following trees:
- beech (Fagus sylvatica)
- spruce (Picea abies)
- pine (Pinus sp.)
- fir (Abies alba)
- oak (Quercus sp.)
- chestnut tree (Castanea sativa)
- larch (Larix decidua)
- birch (Betula pendula)
- linden (Tilia sp.)
- aspen (Populus tremula)
- maple (Acer sp.)
- ash (Fraxinus sp.)
- hornbeam (Carpinus sp.)
- alder (Alnus sp.)
- rowan (Sorbus aucuparia)
- elm (Ulmus sp.)
To name a few.
Working in forestry is great, though. This work enables us to enjoy the nature and moments where we feel like the right part of this world.
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