Canadian Forest Service Publications

Decision Support Tool for Managing Biodiversity and Ecosystem Resilience in Mountain Pine Beetle-Susceptible Landscapes. 2009. Chan-McLeod, A.C.; Vernier, P. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Centre, Victoria, BC. Mountain Pine Beetle Working Paper 2009-23. 18 p.

Year: 2009

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 30810

Language: English

Series: Mountain Pine Beetle Working Paper (PFC - Victoria)

Availability: PDF (download)

Mark record


We designed a GIS-based toolbox, called MPB-Biodiversity (MPBio), to facilitate the assessment of alternative mountain pine beetle- (MPB-) infestation management strategies on wildlife habitat and other sustainable management indicators. The toolbox simulates MPB infestation and salvage logging, projects changes in wildlife habitat supply and landscape structure, and regenerates and ages harvested stands. The main function of the toolbox is to support forest management decisions by assessing the impacts of different salvage logging scenarios on ecological indicators. MPBio is a Beta-release version that is currently limited by its processing speed, lack of graphical user interface or a harvest simulator, and the simplistic treatment of succession in unsalvaged post-MPB forest stands. A case study illustrating the use of the tool in a managed forest landscape in northeastern British Columbia revealed that the succession of post-MPB stands is a critical factor and should be refined as the assumptions used in projecting stand establishment were more influential than salvage logging criteria for dictating avian response. Avian species responded differently depending on salvage logging intensity and criteria used to determine whether a stand was eligible for salvage logging, but not with the range of retention levels examined in this study. These results suggest that increasing retention level in very large cutblocks as was done in the case study to counter the negative impacts of salvage logging will not be effective. Our results also underscore that the best management strategy for sustaining wildlife habitat will be specific to the target species and the time horizon in question.