Sustainable forest & land management

Plantation forestry will be a major contributor to a sustainable future bioeconomy.

Sustainable management of forests in New Zealand involves several aspects, including the important environmental role in protecting our soils and water quality, and providing for biodiversity.

Creating thriving environments

Managing our land for the best environmental and societal outcomes involves the successful integration of economics, governance, society and culture.

Forest flows research programme

The Forest Flows programme will focus on developing methods to predict and optimise water use and supply in planted forests to answer the questions: Where is the water? Where is it going? And who gets to use it?

Healthy soils

Forest health and productivity is dependent upon topsoil depth, soil structure, rooting depth, hard pans, texture, water holding capacity and nutrient supply. Scion soil scientists are constantly seeking to understand more about processes that control soil and forest productivity and their interactions.

The freshwater environment

Careful management of freshwater is needed to protect our water resources as increasing demands are made on a finite resource. Scion scientists are exploring the role that forests play in providing freshwater resources and ecosystem services to New Zealand.

Tree Root Microbiome Programme

The five-year Tree Root Microbiome Programme: At the root of climate proofing forests began in 2020 and is an ambitious programme which aims to establish radiata pine as a model system for tree-root-soil microbiome research globally.

Valuing the forest ecosystem

Forests provide ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, water quality and biodiversity for productive ecosystems. These are the cornerstone of sustainable land use.


Peter Clinton, Scientist, Microbial Ecology - Soil Systems