Canadian Forest Service Publications

Linking stand attributes to cartographic information for ecosystem management purposes in the boreal forest of eastern Québec. 2010. Côté, G.; Bouchard, M.; Pothier, D.; Gauthier, S. The Forestry Chronicle 86(4): 511-519.

Year: 2010

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 31772

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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In the North American boreal forest, the adoption of forest ecosystem management strategies usually increases the number of forest stands to be treated with irregular or uneven-aged silvicultural systems. However, it is difficult to properly target the stands most appropriate for partial cut treatments in remote areas where road access is limited, because current inventory data do not include an assessment of key stand characteristics for silvicultural prescriptions, such as the abundance of small stems in the understory. In this study, we present a forest classification performed using classification and ordination methods, based on ground-measured structural and compositional stand characteristics, in a region of eastern Québec, Canada. This classification resulted in six forest types, which range in composition and structure from relatively regular post-fire stands dominated by black spruce (Picea mariana) to relatively irregular stands co-dominated by balsam fir (Abies balsamea) and black spruce. This classification was linked with cartographic information currently available to forest managers. Information from a fine-scale forest map predicted slightly better the presence of forest types with irregular stand structures compared with a coarse-scale forest map complemented with a fire map. Thus, areas most suitable for the implementation of uneven-aged silvicultural systems can be roughly delineated from existing cartographic information, which will facilitate their integration into large-scale and long-term forest management plans.