Canadian Forest Service Publications

How much dead wood is enough in Canadian forests? A review of the science and policy. 2014. Arsenault, A.; Chapman, B. Abstract. Page 181 in J.A. Parrrota, C.F. Moser, A.J. Scherzer, N.E. Koerth, and D.R. Lederle, editors. Sustaining Forests, Sustaining People: the Role of Research. XXIV IUFRO World Congress, 5–11 October 2014, Salt Lake City, USA. The International Forestry Review Vol.16(5). doi: 10.1505/146554814814281648

Year: 2014

Issued by: Atlantic Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 35881

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1505/146554814814281648

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From the moment a tree seed germinates on the ground, it is engaged in the dance of life that consists of concentrating and dispersing energy and nutrients. Through its life, a tree accumulates a significant proportion of its lifetime’s photosynthesis and nutrient uptake into persistent woody structures. In natural forests, each individual tree is destined to die and rot into the forest floor, and in the process, the released energy and nutrients contribute to endless ecosystem services until the tree becomes a persistent ghost of its former self. Canada is blessed with a variety of forest types which each have their individual deadwood signatures. Deadwood signatures can be characterized by the amounts of wood in various decay categories, but perhaps more importantly, as the variety of ecosystem services associated with each deadwood life stage. Understanding these stages and ecosystem services and how they transition from one stage into another in dynamic forest ecosystems is critical to inform forest policy, planning, and operations. We review what we have learned on the science of deadwood ecosystem services in Canada and examine the opportunities and challenges to integrate this information into policy and best management practices.

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