Workshop: Microbiology of Planted Forests

Start Date
17 Sep 2020 9:30 AM
End Date
17 Sep 2020 3:30 PM
6 hours

An introduction to microbial ecology and processes for planted forest managers

17 September, 9.30 am – 3.30 pm

Scion, Sala Street, Rotorua

Background and objectives

Radiata pine forests are highly productive ecosystems founded on a dynamic and complex ‘ecosystem microbiome’. This microbiome is a community of fungi and bacteria associated with plants and soil that includes mycorrhizae, beneficial bacteria, pathogens and many others. The organisms within the microbiome contains genes that drive their interactions with plants, soil and each other. This process maintains the function of our forests under a wide range of environmental conditions.

Understanding the microbiome and its role in determining productivity for New Zealand’s forestry sector is key for continued improvement of forest management practices. Advances in molecular analysis enables characterisation of the microbes that play critical roles for tree growth and health. The potential to enhance key microbes in different environmental conditions may help with cost-effective manipulation of management practices while also maintaining or improving forest productivity.

The purpose of this workshop (deferred from March 26 due to Covid-19) is to bring together stakeholders interested in learning the fundamentals of microbes, genes and hormones in forests and how they interact to regulate forest function. The workshop will include practical demonstrations of useful molecular techniques and activities designed to provide attendees with an appreciation of this important area of forest management, along with a pathway to begin developing strategies to more effectively integrate and use microbial processes in forest management. An agenda will be circulated by early September 2020.


Participation in the workshop is free and is organised by Scion as part of the interim ‘Resilient Forests’ research programme (Oct 2019 – Sep 2020) that is jointly funded by Forest Growers Levy Trust and MBIE through the Strategic Science Investment fund (SSIF) Forest Systems Platform. Please email Alison Wilson to confirm your attendance and to indicate any dietary requirements..

For any workshop content enquiries please contact: Simeon Smaill or Sarah Addison.

We also welcome the submission of soil samples in advance for analysis prior to the workshop (up to 3 samples per person). Please ensure these are sent to Sarah Addison, Scion, 49 Sala Street, Rotorua by 31 August 2020.

We look forward to seeing you at the workshop.

Simeon, Sarah and Alison