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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2021) 66(2): 3–10
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Feature article
Puruki Experimental Forest - half a century of forestry research

Loretta Garrett *,1, Steve A. Wakelin 2, Stephen Pearce 3, Steve J. Wakelin 4 and Tim Barnard 5

1 Soil Scientist, Scion, Rotorua. Corresponding author: loretta.garrett@scionresearch.com
2 Environmental Microbiomes Specialist, Scion, Christchurch.
3 Senior Research Technician, Scion, Rotorua.
4 Forestry Scientist, Scion,Wellington.
5 Environmental Planner, Scion, Rotorua.
*Corresponding author.

Abstract: Puruki Experimental Forest (PEF) is a second rotation Pinus radiata forest located in the Central North Island, New Zealand. It has been a showcase for leading forest science for over 50 years. PEF is part of the Purukohukohu paired land use catchment study installed in 1968 by the Department of Lands and Survey, the Ministry of Works Water and Soil Division, and the New Zealand Forest Research Institute of the New Zealand Forest Service. From the outset, PEF was visionary in ambition and scope and founded on interagency collaboration and support. Since establishment, PEF has provided valuable longitudinal data sets and the importance of these has increased over time. Data from PEF has been used to build and parameterise tools and models adopted by the forest sector and government agencies, particularly associated with carbon and nutrition, productivity models, genetics, disease and growth, and hydrological modelling and water quality assessments. PEF has underpinned much of our knowledge on how to design and sustainably manage a highly productive planted forest, whilst delivering wider forest benefits and ecosystem services to society. PEF is now nearing the end of its second rotation. The next phase offers a new opportunity to extend the legacy of PEF by undertaking ambitious, ecosystem-level research for the benefit of New Zealand.
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