Counting the Rings (From The Archive)
Friday, January 28, 2011 at 9:58AM
[chuck] in Cunninghamia, Miao, Science, growth rings

Mark Ashton (left), Morris K. Jesup Professor of Silviculture at Yale, and Yang Chenghua (right), botanist at the Guizhou Forestry Academy, count the rings on a large cross section of Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook to estimate its age and growth rate.  This valuable timber species, known locally as "shamu", is used by the Miao to build their houses (see Miao Still Life) and it is widely planted and managed in local forests. We spent the day in the drizzling rain running inventory transects in the forests outside of Wudong to quantify the density and size-class structure of Cunninghamia trees. We got soaked - but we finished 2,000 m² of transects. A good day.

[NOTE: I post this again because I am teaching Introduction to Indigenous Silviculture: Ecology, Livelihoods, and Policy at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies this semester and I see Mark every Monday. We reminisce about counting rings in southwestern China - among other things]. 

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