Canadian Forest Service Publications

Development and utility of an ecological-based decision-support system for managing mixed coniferous forest stands for multiple objectives. 2012.(Chapter 7) Newton, P.F. pp. 115-172 in Ecological Modeling. Wen-Jun Zhang (editor) Nova Scientific Publishers.

Year: 2012

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 34247

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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An ecological-based decision-support system and corresponding algorithmic analogue for managing natural black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill) BSP.) and jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) mixed stands was developed. The integrated hierarchical system consisted of six sequentially-linked estimation modules. The first module consisted of a key set of empirical yield-density relationships and theoretically-based functions derived from allometry and self-thinning theory that were used to describe overall stand dynamics including temporal size-density interrelationships and expected stand development trajectories. The second module was comprised of a Weibull-based parameter prediction equation system and an accompanying composite height-diameter function that were used to recover diameter and height distributions. The third module included a set of species-specific composite taper equations that were used to derive log product distributions and volumetric yields. The fourth module was composed of a set of species-specific allometric-based composite biomass equations that were used to estimate mass distributions and associated carbon-based equivalents for each above-ground component (bark, stem, branch and foliage). The fifth module incorporated a set of species-specific end-product and value equations that were used to predict chip and lumber volumes and associated monetary equivalents by sawmill type (stud and randomized length mill configurations). The sixth module encompassed a set of species-specific composite equations that were used to derive wood and log quality metrics (specific gravity and mean maximum branch diameter, respectively). The stand dynamic and structural recovery modules were developed employing 382 stand-level measurements derived from 155 permanent and temporary sample plots situated throughout the central portion of the Canadian Boreal Forest Region, the taper and end-product modules were developed employing published results from taper and sawmill simulation studies, and the biomass and fibre attribute modules were developed using data from density control experiments. The potential of the system in facilitating the transformative change towards the production of higher value end-products and a broader array of ecosystem services was exemplified by simultaneously contrasting the consequences of density management regimes involving commercial thinning treatments in terms of overall productivity, end-product yields, economic efficiency, and ecological impact. This integration of quantitative relationships derived from applied ecology, plant population biology and forest science into a common analytical platform, illustrates the synergy that can be realized through a multi-disciplinary approach to forest modeling.