Securing good quality acorn material in the UK
Carried out by: Future Trees Trust
The ‘Boom and Bust’ (masting) patterns of acorn production have significant economic impacts: it results in an unreliable annual supply of well-adapted and high-quality acorns to forestry, while there is a high demand every year. Shortages are problematic since recalcitrant seeds cannot easily be stored, imported seeds may be of an unsuitable provenance and pose biosecurity risks. The aim of this doctoral research is to investigate the highly variable acorn production by native oak in the UK, so as to inform seed supply industry and seed stand management.
It will aim to answer the questions:
1. What is the (historic pattern) of masting and mean acorn production in the UK at the seed zone level?
2. When, and at what phenological stage is seed development currently halted (i.e. what are the premature abscission rates at each phenological stage)?
SFT Funds Awarded: £10,000