Canadian Forest Service Publications

Modeling in sustainable forest resources management. 2013. Li, C. and Liu, S. Pages 294-315 in W.J. Guo, A.S. Qing, and L. Xin, eds. Lectures in modern ecology (VI): global climate change and ecological patterns and processes (Chinese edition). Higher Education Press, Beijing, China.

Year: 2013

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 35155

Language: Other

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Mark record


Modern ecology nowadays has become an integrated research discipline of studying the relationships between living organisms and their environments including a component of human activities. The inclusion of this component has enabled ecologists to address many practical issues in modern human society. The sustainable forest resources management is one of the focusing issues in all subjects related to forestry and forest sciences. Since many human activities are more or less associated with economic considerations or within a business framework, a major challenge in forest resource management is how to balance regional economic development and eco-environmental conservation including ecosystem services. This paper will describe how mathematical and computer models can be a powerful tool to assist in solving these issues. We introduce a generalized conceptual and modeling framework in sustainable forest resources management firstly, and describe its main components briefly. We then explain the major types of economic, management, and ecological models, with a deeper discussion using forest fire regime modeling as an example. Finally, we discuss the roles of modeling in sustainable forest resource management, and provide recommendations for future modeling research. The objectives of this chapter are two-fold: the first is to provide a general description of different kinds of models related to sustainable forest resources management, from upstream of developing improved scientific understanding to downstream of applications in both policy and operations; and the second is to show that modeling can serve as a powerful tool to assist scientific research and decision-making at all levels, and the implementation and realization of the modeling framework will need a multi-disciplinary approach and wide range of collaborations among modellers and scientists and/or experts in various fields.

Plain Language Summary

This chapter was based on an invited plenary presentation at the 6th International Symposium on Modern Ecology (in conjunction with the 2nd International Young Ecologists Forum) held August 1-6, 2011, in Nanjing, China. The chapter explains the importance of mathematical and computer modeling in managing forests sustainably. To balance the objectives of economic development and of ecological-environmental protection and conservation, researchers need to combine various data sources and kinds of models (including ecological, economic, and managerial models). The authors use models of a forest fire regime as examples of ecological models. They also describe major types and examples of analytical, forest-sector and operations-research models. This chapter promotes an integrated modeling approach in solving issues in sustainable forest management because no single model can address the whole range of issues. Implementing a framework of multiple models requires an interdisciplinary approach and a wide range of collaborators. Modeling can serve as a powerful tool to support scientific research and decision-making at all levels.