Sustainable Forest Management Department (SFM) is one of the six research departments in the Forestry research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN). The department was established to conduct research into the establishment and management of indigenous and exotic forest trees and other non-timber plant species, for optimum growth, development and yield on a sustainable basis.
The Department is headed by a Director who discharges departmental mandates through the following sections/units:
- Seed Section:
- Silviculture and Agroforestry Section
- Biotechnology Section
- Tree Physiology Section
- Soils and Tree Nutrition Section
- Tree Improvement Section
- Watershed Management Section
The department is headed by Dr. Aderonke, F. Adio; a seasoned Forest Tree Seed Physiologist and a veteran Silviculturist. Her scope of studies cover collection, processing, testing, storage, distribution and propagation of exotic and indigenous forest tree seeds for various afforestation programmes in Nigeria.
The Department operates four nurseries namely:
- Central Nursery
- Fruit trees Nursery
- Pine Nursery
- Ornamental Nursery
These nurseries are capable of providing over five (5) million seedlings annually. Seedlings from these nurseries are distributed to Educational Institutions, Corporate Bodies, State Forestry Departments and Individuals.
Some Achievements and Breakthroughs of the Department
- - Appropriate seed collection, seed processing, seed testing and seed storage techniques have been developed for many forest tree species.
- - Improved stands of forest tree species as well as fruit trees have been established in plantations.
- - Establishment of clonal seed orchads of some indigenous and exotic tree species for improved seed production.
- - Mass seedling production of pines and other tree species through micro propagation and tissue culture techniques.
- - Restoration and management of fragile and degrade sites across the country using appropriate tree species and suitable techniques have been achieved.
- - Large scale industrial plantations of indigenous and exotic tree species have been successfully established for private investors.
- - Development of agroforestry practices suitable for adoption by farmers.
Seed section is responsible for:
- * Provision of high quality forest tree seeds for seedling production.
- * Seed handling and pre-treatment techniques.
- * Storage requirements for preservation of seeds of forest tree species.
Silviculture and Agroforestry Section
The section is involved in the following:
- The management of natural forests through in-situ as well as ex-situ conservation.
- Improvement of silvicultural practices relating to forest plantation development.
- Integration of cultivation of forest trees of economic importance into farming systems in different ecological zones.
- Afforestation techniques for degraded and fragile ecosystems across the country’s ecological zones.
- Establishment and management of large scale industrial plantations.
- Seedling production and distribution.
This unit focuses on:
- Mass propagation of plantlets through Tissue culture and Molecular Biology techniques.
- Molecular characterization of forest tree species.
- Genetic modification of forest tree species for production of transgenic trees.
Tree Physiology Section
The section has the mandates to undertake research into:
- Conservation and improvement of genetic resources of forest trees and ecosystems.
- Flower induction for reduced fruiting age of forest trees.
- Production of pine seedlings through micropropagation techniques.
- Improvement studies on propagation and management of selected indigenous fruit trees.
Soils and Tree Nutrition Section
The functions of this section are:
- Nutrient cycling and control in forest stands.
- Soil survey and mapping.
- Improvement techniques for sustainable management of depleted soils.
- Site adaptability and nutritional requirement of tree species across various ecosystems.
- Development of low cost organic based fertilizers from local raw materials.
- Routine soil and plant analysis.
Tree Improvement Section
- Improvement studies and management of indigenous tree species of economic importance.
- Improvement on seedling growth through application of appropriate silvicultural practices.
- Mass propagation of improved seedlings of economic importance
Watershed Management section
The section looks into the following areas:
- Prevention and mitigation of watershed degradation.
- Restoration and enhancement of the quality of watershed environment.
- Nutrient cycling, control and stabilization of soil in watershed ecosystem.