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Branchlines, Vol. 9, no. 2 Watts, Susan B.; University of British Columbia. Faculty of Forestry Sep 30, 1998

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F A C U L T Y O F F O R E S T R Y ' NEWSLETTER • T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Volume 9 No. 2 September, 1998 From the Dean's Desk A i ter eight years at the helm, Clark Binkley has left the Faculty of Forestry. He left us with a legacy of greatly expanded horizons for education in forestry. We are grateful for the strong and positive influences he has had (which we now enjoy) in the university as well as in the province, the nation, and internationally. His most visible legacy is the recently completed Forest Sciences Centre, officially opened on September 29 (see page 6). For the first time in 20 years, all members of the Faculty are now within the same building - the Forest Sciences Centre at UBC. When viewed from Main Mall, the Centre seems to be a massive building but the first area you enter is a spacious four storey high atrium where Parallam® post "trees" reach to the roof trusses that sup- port the glass roof. With a little imagina- tion, you might think you have just walked into a mature forest where the major vista is the dark trunks that hold up the tree branches far above. The walls of the atrium are lined with sound-moderating medium density fibre-board panels that are covered by a veneer of edge-sliced Douglas-fir. The wooden seating benches and the stair trends to the 2nd floor are solid Douglas-fir. The atrium gives access to most of the 16 classrooms on the ground floor. These in- clude two large theatre style classrooms, two computer laboratories, two fixed and two flexible configuration bench space labs as well as eight additional classrooms. About 30% of the classes held in the Forest Sci- ences Centre are from other faculties. Large tables in the undergraduate lounge facilitate group project activities. We are now well equipped to implement the learner centered vision for undergraduate education at UBC. To the north and east of the atrium is the fire-resistant four storey block that houses our research laboratories on the upper three floors. Surrounding the atrium on the west and south sides are the offices for faculty, staff and graduate students. The upper three levels of this building are made of wood and engineered wood products. A special fea- ture of the office block is that several equiva- lencies needed to be demonstrated in order for wood to be used in areas where building codes have traditionally prohibited wood construction. To the east side are the labo- ratories, offices and teaching areas for the Centre of Advanced Wood Processing as well as high head research laboratories. After wandering in the wilderness of many temporary locations around campus for the past two decades we are looking forward to a wider range of interdisciplinary activities that will now be possible in the Forest Sci- ences Centre. We also look forward to con- tinuing our interactions with our many re- search cooperators around the province. When you are next in Vancouver I hope you will take (he opportunity to visit us at our magnificent new location. John A. McLean Acting Dean Forest Sciences Department RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT Pursuing the physiological basis of superior growth in trees VARIATION in the natural abundance of stable isotopes and their applications to forest science are perennial interests in the Tree Physiology laboratory at UBC. Since the mid-80's it has been known that the isotopic composition of plant carbon can provide an index of water-use efficiency, an important component of drought resistance. Water-use efficiency (WUE) is the amount of dry matter produced by a plant divided by the total volume of water used. Water-use efficiency can also be expressed as photo- synthesis divided by transpiration. Although most carbon has a molecular mass of 12, about 1 % has a mass of 13. This fraction is not, however, evenly distributed. Discrimination against l3CO, in photosyn- thesis results in a slightly altered isotopic composition (§ I3C value) in plants. The amount of discrimination depends on the diffusion gradient for CO, into the leaf, which in turn depends on the degree of stomatal opening and the photosynthetic capacity. Since transpiration is also under stomatal control, WUE is highly correlated with 5"C. Using 8 ' 'C values and other methods to assess WUE, we have demonstrated that different conifer genotypes (species, prov- enances and famil ies) have consistent differences in WUE. Although WUE re- sponds tocn vironmental conditions, we have also found that genetic differences in WUE within species are consistent across environ- ments. For example, although all genotypes improve their WUE in drier environments, their ranking relative to each other is main- tained. A key observation is that genotypes with the highest relative WUE also tend to show the best growth. This correlation has been found for every conifer we've exam- ined (e.g., see figure). Higher WUE asso- ciated with superior growth must indicate increased photosynthesis, not reduced transpiration. Through gas exchange analy- sis, our collaborators in Dr. Livingston's lab at the University of Victoria have shown that genotypes with high WUE do indeed have high photosynthetic capacity. Trends in WUE are paralleled by oppo- site trends in nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE; carbon gain per unit nitrogen assimilated). For example, as stomates close in response to drought, nitrogen invested in leaf cells is less efficiently used in support of carbon fixation. Likewise, if plants can allocate more nitrogen to photosynthesis when water is not limiting, WUE will increase without any effect on transpiration. We have found such a trade-off at the species, population and family levels in conifers subjected to different combinations of water and nutrient limitation. These data suggest that genetic differences in WUE and productivity may actually result from differences in ability to acquire nitrogen. Two graduate students in the laboratory, Emily Pritchard and Nevena Ratkovic, are currently testing this hypothesis with studies of nitrogen uptake and assimilation o o I- -24 - 2 6 - 2 8 -30 -24 - 2 6 - 2 8 -30 -24 - - 2 6 - - 2 8 -30 - Ss r=0.82 S'S Sw r=0.69 r=0.67 r=0.60 r=0.77 0 1 2 0 1 2 3 Total Dry Weight, g Carbon isotopic composition (5"C) vs. bio- mass in seedlings of white spruce (Sw), Sitka spruce (Ss), and their hybrid (SxS). Less- negative 5"C indicates greater water-use efficiency. (A) well-watered; (B) droughted. in white spruce. There are other possibili- ties of course, but we hope to get one step closer to understanding the physiological basis for inherently superior growth in trees. For futher information, please contact Dr. Rob Guy at (604) 822-6023, fax (604) 822-9102 or e-mail guy@interch.ubc.ca. • DEPARTMENT NEWS T h e Department of Forest Sciences wel- comes our new Head - Dr. Bart van der Kamp - who took over official duties Sep- tember 1st. Dr. Gene Namkoong stepped down as Head at the end of June and is cur- rently on leave writing a book and serving as Director of the new International Forestry Insti ute at UBC. In August, Dr. Chris Chanway gave an invited presentation on "Bacterial endo- phytes: ecological and practical implica- tions" at the 7lh International Conference on Plant Pathology in Edinburgh, Scotland. Dr. Bart van der Kamp gave a presenta- tion on "Armillaria in British Columbia" at the same conference. Last month. Dr. Scott Hinch presented a paper on "Artificial side-channels: under- standing their conservation and enhance- ment potential for coho salmon" at the 128th Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society in Hartford, Connecticut. In September, Dr. John Richardson pre- sented a paper on riparian and stream res- toration at the International Workshop on Ecological River Restoration in Cold Re- gions in Trondheim, Norway. Dr. Hamish Kimmins has recently been invited to become a member of the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology. We are conducting interviews this month for the FRBC Chairs in Conservation Biology and Silviculture. Drs. Kathy Martin and Karel Klinka are currently on sabbatical leave. • Branch Lines 2 Forest Resources Management Department RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT Policy regimes and forest policy change IN the 1990s, forest policy in northwest-ern North America has undergone sub- stantial change, and provides a revealing laboratory to test different political theories of the policy process. A political science approach analyzes how governments make decisions, and why they make the decisions that they do. There is considerable contro- versy within the field about which explana- tory variables to emphasize. One school tends to emphasize political interests, and focuses on interest groups and their strate- gies, and the links between policymakers' incentives and public opinion. Another school emphasizes the importance of insti- tutions in shaping policy outcomes. A third school, quite influential in the 1990s, emphasizes the role of ideas, both causal and normative, in influencing policy. A complete understanding of policy change is impossible without considering all three of these variables and their interac- tions. The "policy regime" framework ex- amines the interaction of all three key com- ponents in the context of background condi- tions, including market forces, elections, and public opinion. The dilemma of social "science" research of this sort is developing a research design that allows one to distin- guish between the relative influence of dif- ferent variables. We cannot design experi ments; we must rely on the observations the policy world produces for us. The use of comparative case studies, in the right conditions, can provide some in- sight. One example is the case of policies designed to conserve the infamous northern spotted owl. The 49lh parallel divides spot- ted owl habitat that extends from Northern California to Southwestern B.C. Somany of the variables influencing policy — such as the nature of the problem and scientific knowledge — are virtually the same. What differs significantly between B.C. and the U.S. Pacific Northwest is the institutional framework within which policy is made: Y M J« • - - • ' - f -S v X Spotted owl. legalism and federal jurisdiction in the U.S., and executive-centered bargaining and pro- vincial jurisdiction in B.C. The two jurisdictions have adopted sub- stantially different policies with respect to the spotted owl: B.C. increased the amount of old growth under protection, and the estimated decline in harvest levels is less than 5%. The U.S. set aside significantly more old growth, and harvest levels are projected to decline by 75%. The change in B.C. represents a combination of factors, including pressures from scientific evi- dence, and both political and moral pres- sures for species preservation. What is does not include are the factors present in the US but not in Canada: strict legal standards, judicial intervention, and federal jurisdic- tion. The more preservationist decision in the U.S. is largely attributable to the insti- tutional component of the U.S. regime which gave environmentalists there formi- dable power resources absent north of the border. While the shifting landscape of govern- ment policy will continue to provide the focus for much ongoing research, recent developments suggest that the scope of forest policy studies needs to be expanded significantly. MacMillan Bloedef s recent announcement to abandon clearcutting is a momentous change in the industry. It was driven not by government policy, but by the politicization of international markets gen- erated by environmental groups and their allies in the certification movement. The same research tools can be brought to bear on these actions, but the actions to be explained are corporate policy choice, not government policy choice. For further information, please contact Dr. George Hoberg at (604) 822-3728 or (604) 822-4355; fax (604) 822-9106 or e-mail hoberg@interchg.ubc.ca. • DEPARTMENT NEWS D r . David Haley has recently been ap- pointed the Associate Editor for economics for the Canadian Journal of Forest Re- search. Dr. Stephen Sheppard was awarded a Canada Foundation for Innovation New Opportunities grant to develop a Centre of Excellence in Computer-Aided Resource Decision-Support. This will be an inter- disciplinary initiative in the Department of Forest Resources Management. Dr. Sheppard was also successful in attracting funding from Ihe Peter Wall Institute and the Hampton Fund. Dr. Jonathan Fannin is coordinating dia- logue with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia to establish course requirements that may lead to Forest Operations gradu- ates registering as Engineers-in-Training. Dr. Peter Murtha served recently as a panel number for the "Grand Canyon Moni- toring and Research Centre Remote Sens- ing Protocols Review Panel" in Flagstaff Arizona. He also chaired a session on RADARSAT at the same symposium. The Department is currently hosting two Visiting Scientists, Dr. Se-kyung Chong from the Forest Research Institute in Seoul, Korea, and Mr. Hitoshi Yamasaki from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fish- eries in Japan. • Branch Lines 3 Wood Science Department RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT What's new in Canadian logs and lumber sapstain research AS Canada's balance of trade depends strongly on wood and pulp exports, it is critical that these products reach the customers free of defects, including certain microorganisms. The presence of particular fungi in exported wood products may lead to a shipment being rejected by the import- ing country, resulting in financial losses for the exporting partner. This can be the case for sapstain - a long-standing problem for the wood industry not only in North America, but also in New Zealand and Europe. Sapstaining fungi can dis- colour wood when they colonize stand- ing trees, or logs and lumber during storage and transportation. The fungi can readily metabolize a wide range of the nutrients like sugars, lipids and proteins that are present in unseasoned sapwood in most tree species. Identifying fungi by classical meth- ods - morphological characteristics, growth rates and mating compatibility - is a tedious procedure that can take one to two months. The length of the process can be very costly for exporters if wood shipments must be held in quaran- tine pending identification. To sharply in- crease speed and accuracy of fungal identi- fication, we are exploring the use of specific molecular genetic markers. We have been able to detcct Ophiostoma species in wood from a single spore-head formation by PCR amplification of genomic DNA with inter- nal transcribed spacer-derived-specif ic primers. Presently, the only limitation of this procedure is the lack of species-specific DEPARTMENT NEWS D r . Dave Barrett is stepping down as Head of the Wood Science Department effective September 30, 1998. The Faculty acknowl- edges the very great contribution that Dave has made in revitalizing the Department over the past 12 years. Dr. Jack Saddler has accepted the position of Head, effective October 1. Dr. David Cohen has returned from a sabbatical leave working with Chris Gaston primers for the identification of the differ- ent species. To address this problem, we as well as other teams are developing genetic markers to differentiate important species among sapstaining fungi. In collaboration with Forintek Canada Corp. and the University Laval in Quebec (Dr. L. Bernier), we have designed a sys- tematic sampling protocol for logs and lumber to isolate the main discoloring fungi and evaluate their frequency. In the summer of 1997, we surveyed seven saw- mills across Canada - in Alberta, British Columbia , New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. At the mills, five commercially important softwoods species (lodgepole pine, jack pine, balsam fir, black and white spruce) were cut and set aside in the field to expose them to wood inhabiting fungi. The exposed wood was sampled a month later. We used from Forintek on the project "Japan's Value-Added Market: Wood Product Attributes and Competition". The Centre for Advanced Wood Pro- cessing is organizing the Second Interna- tional Forum on Value-Added Wood Pro- cessing in Toronto, Ontario on December 3 [ Jand 4'h, 1998. Dr. David Cohen will be chairing this timely conference. Dr. Jack Saddler has been honoured as the 4lh recipient to receive the CD Scott Award. Jack is the first non-American to classical methods to identify the 2000 fungi isolated from stained wood. The results showed that logs carried a wider range of fungi than lumber. The species isolated most frequently belonged to the genus Ophiostoma. Ophiostoma piceae was the dominant species in lumber and was frequently isolated in logs; how- ever, it did not appear to be the micro- organism causing deep stain in logs. Other species found in logs included Cercitocystis coerulescens, O. minus, Phacidium coni- ferum, Leptographium species, and Aureo- basidium pullulans. O. piliferum and two other groups of fungi similar to O. piceae were frequently isolated in lumber. The survey suggested that no fungal species occurred exclusively in a particular region on wood substrate. In ongoing work we are assessing the seasonal variation of the stain problem in lodgepole pine lumber and logs, and in addition are compar- ing how different fungal isolates stain wood, in order to determine whether discoloration is caused by the same organisms in log and lumber. Our colleagues in Laval are characteriz- ing the genetic diversity in O. piceae isolates. We will jointly examine whether specific primers permit iden- tifying O. piceae and other Ophiosto- ma species. Finally, in a team effort we will determine whether the naturally occurring mutants or color variants can be used as biological control agents to protect logs from stain. The work is being carried out at UBC and Laval by PDFs (A. Uzimovic & S. Kim), graduate students and summer students. For more information, please contact Dr. Colette Breuil at (604) 822-9738, fax (604) 822- 9104 or e-mail breuil@interchg.ubc.caAJl receive this award, established to recognize individuals in the application of biotech- nology to produce fuels and chemicals. Jack was also the recipient of the Associa- tion of Commonwealth Universities and the Society of Wood Science travel scholar- ships allowing him to visit universities and institutes in Australia and New Zealand to assess the potential for strategic alliances with UBC in the development of "Distance Education" in the fibre and wood area. • An example of heavy sapstain on a lodgepole pine log. Branch Lines 4 Faculty News Faculty mourns death of Oscar Sziklai Oscar passed away on September 18, 1998, while on a visit to Sopron. In the Faculty, we mourn his passing and will keenly miss his presence, but we gratefully celebrate his life and the influence he has had on us. He was always starting new efforts and promoting old ones, so that even the 1956 disruption of the move from Hungary to Canada hardly slowed him down. As a new assistant professor in Sopron and UBC, he helped develop techniques for the emerging field of forest tree breeding and made one of the first sets of diallel crosses in Douglas-fir. He helped develop the nursery silviculture program, taught graduate and undergraduate courses, and directed several graduate students every year of his tenure, even past his nominal retirement. He promoted the early openings for scientific collaboration with China and had never interrupted his involvement in advancing our inter- national interests also in Japan, France, Austria, Sweden, Czechoslovakia, and of course, in Hungary. During sabbatical leaves, he was active in research in scientific research institutions in France, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Japan, and China. In 1986, he became the first non-Chinese member of the Chinese Society of Forestry. His broad scope of interest not only carried him afar, it also involved him as an officer in many organizations. He was an officer in the CIF, the Western Forest Genetics Association, the Northwest Scientific Association, the North American Forestry Commission, and he served as a leader of several IUFRO working parties. When called upon in 1982, he served for three years as the acting Head of the newly formed Department of Forest Sciences. Upon retirement, he remained active in university affairs as well as in the Faculty and the Department of Forest Sciences. He helped with the changes in the nursery program, continued to serve as liaison with Hungarian and Chinese colleagues, and was always available for advice and insight whenever asked. Two weeks ago, he came to the new building to see that we were well cared for and to sympathize with our moving pains. It was with good cheer that he left for Hungary with the promise to reinforce our global contacts. He died doing what he enjoyed doing and while doing what he did well. We in the Faculty of Forestry are much the richer for having shared and benefited from his life for these past 42 years. He brought a broad perspective on forestry to us when he came, and he left us with a broader perspective on life. Thank you Oscar. Thank you Maria. GeneNamkoong A memorial scholarship fund has been set up at UBC in Oscar's name. Donations can be directed to: UBC Development Office Dr. Oscar Sziklai Memorial Scholarship Fund 6253 N.W. Marine Drive Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z1 New Appointments Dr. John McLean has as- sumed the role of Acting Dean for the Faculty of Forestry until a new Dean is appointed. John is also retaining his port- folio of Associate Dean of Research during this period. ® (604) 822-2467, e-mail mclean@ interchg.ubc.ca. Dr. Peter Marshall has been appointed as Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs, replacing Tony Kozak who stepped down after 21 years of excellent administrative service to the Faculty. ® (604) 822-4918, e-mail marshall@interchg.ubc. ca. Dr. Chris Chanway , who served as Associate Dean of Graduate Studies while John McLean was on sabbatical last year, has agreed to return to the position for a second year. S (604) 822-3716, e-mail cchanway@ interchg. ubc. ca. Dr. Bart van der Kamp has been appointed as Head of the Forest Sciences Depart- ment, replacing Gene Nam- koong who ably led the Depart- ment for the past five years. S (604) 822-2728, e-mail vdkamp@ interchg. ubc.ca. Dr. Jack Saddler has been appointed as Head of the Wood Science Department, replacing David Barrett who has steered and revitalized the Department over the past 12 years. © (604)822-9736,e-mail saddler@ interchg.ubc.ca. Branch Lines 5 Undergraduate enrolment O u r undergraduate enrolment for the 1998/99 session dropped slightly from 620 to 614 students (not including visiting and exchange students). The admission quotas for the 1998/99 session were changed in order to reflect the changing needs of various degrees. The B.S.F. degree quota was reduced to 35 from 65 in each of first and second year; the admission quota in the B.Sc. (Natural Resources Conservation) degree was increased to 30 in first year and reduced to 10 in second year. As a result, 157 new students entered the Faculty compared to 224 new students last year. The admission grade point averages (GPA) in each of the four deg ree s for f i rs t and second years was reduced this year in an effort to meet admis- sion quotas. The final GPA for B.S.F. and B.Sc. (Forestry) was 70%; both B.Sc. (Natural Re- sources Conservation) and B.Sc. (Wood Products Processing) was 67%. The average admis- sion GPA for each program will not be determined until October. • i: 400 z 200 - Upcoming Careers evening Planning is underway for the 7"' Annual Careers Evening for all forestry under- graduates. The event will take place on Wednesday, November 4. Guest speakers will be discussing employment options with the resources sector. All alumni are invited! Further information can be obtained from Helen Samson, Coordinator of Student Services at (604) 822-3547 or e-mail helens@interchg.ubc.ca. • Official opening The Universit1 iM r I r H * I • Chancellor William L. Sander addresses the audience at the September 29 official opening of the Forest Sciences Centre. Alumni Day The Forest Sciences Centre will be open for tours on Saturday, October 17 from 11:30 to 3:30. For further information, contact Tara MacKenzie at (604) 822-8716. International opportunities for students A record number of students are taking advantage of international programs of- fered by the Faculty and the University. This year 21 Forestry students were se- lected to go away on exchange - up from 18 last year. In fact, there has been steady growth in the exchange program's popu- larity since the faculty began promoting it to students. Students can select from a number of universities in countries in- cluding Australia, Austria, Costa Rica, Finland, Germany, New Zealand, Philip- pines, Sweden, the UK, and the USA. Another popular program this year was the placement of students in international work internships. Seventeen graduates and students were placed in jobs in Indonesia, Japan, Finland, Germany, Austria, Mexico, Guatemala, Uruguay, Argentina, and the United States. We anticipate an even larger number of students will participate in the internship program next year. In addition, we have welcomed 24 in- ternational students to UBC Forestry who are visiting from our partner institutions worldwide. These students contribute a great deal to our student body and help to internationalize the faculty. For further information, contact Sandra Schinnerl, Associate Director, International Programs at (604) 822-9627, fax (604) 822- 8645 or e-mail sandra@ interchg.ubc.ca. NEWSLETTER PRODUCTION Branch Lines is published by the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia three times each year. ISSN 1181-9936. http://www.forestry.ubc.ca/ Editor: Susan B. Watts, Ph.D., R.P.F. In-house typesetting and layout: Patsy Quay and Susan B. Watts. Questions concerning the newsletter or requests for mailing list updates, deletions or additions should be directed to Dr. Susan Watts, Newsletter Editor at: Faculty of Forestry, Dean's Office University of British Columbia Forest Sciences Centre 2005-2424 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z4 a ( 6 0 4 ) 8 2 2 - 6 3 1 6 Fax: (604) 822-8645 E-mail: suwatts@interchg.ubc.ca Recycled Paper Branch Lines 6 ©Faculty of Forestry, 1998 6


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