Conversion in forestry is defined as a change from one silvicultural system or one (set of) species to another.
Importance of Conversion
A.Change in Crop Composition
- Increase yield from the forest
Plantation of fast-growing species like eucalyptus, species have less rotation period, species having high timber value and market demand.
- To meet the demand of the industry.
To meet the demand of the increasing population, It is necessary to raise crops to meet the need of the industry. Industrial demand-based crop production.
B. Change in Silvicultural System
- Failure of the existing system.
When a silvicultural system applied to a species failed to regenerate, it has to be changed. eg- Uniform shelterwood system of teak converted to clear felling with artificial regeneration.
- Advantages of the particular system.
When any particular silviculture system offers greater advantages in terms of yield, working simplicity, and improved growing stock it is adopted. eg- Coppice with standard converted to Coppice with reserve.
- Advances in silvicultural knowledge and perfection of regeneration techniques
Continued research and practices improve the knowledge about the silvicultural system and the techniques go on to be perfected. It is the realization of system change.
- Development of knowledge and new techniques.
Continual evolution of the silvicultural system with development in communications and market demand, conversion is adopted.
Techniques of conversion
- When a change in the silvicultural system is to be undertaken then only a part of the forest is subjected to the new system instead of the whole forest.
- The rest part of the forest is undertaken following the old system
- After the conversion in the first part is completed, then another part undergoes into the new system while the rest of the forest is still subjeced to the old system
- This process continues throughout the conversion period until the whole forest is under the new system.
- Pace or speed of a conversion depends on the time within which conversion should be done (conversion period).