Canadian Forest Service Publications

Effects of silviculture intensity on plant diversity response patterns in young managed northern temperate and boreal forests. Bell, F.W.; Hunt, S.; Dacosta, J.; Sharma, M.; Larocque, G.R.; Winters, J.A.; Newmaster, S.G. 2014. Écoscience 21(3-4):327-339.

Year: 2014

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 36604

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.2980/21-(3-4)-3710

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Throughout much of the northern temperate and boreal forests of Canada, intensifying silviculture to enhance fibre production is of increasing interest. However, some oppose the application of intensive silviculture, citing possible negative effects on biodiversity. Using fifth-year post-harvest data from the NEBIE Plot Network in Ontario, Canada, we studied the relationship between plant diversity, silviculture intensity, and contemporary climate. Neutral, linear (positive and negative), exponential (positive and negative), quadratic (concave up and concave down), cubic, and higher-order models were fit to the data. Here we discuss the potential influence of climate and silviculture on observed biodiversity patterns. As well, we address their effects on regional species pools, succession, hierarchical structure, invasibility by exotic species, and species resilience.

Plain Language Summary

This study analyzes the type of relationship between plant biodiversity and the intensity of the silviculture performed in Ontario’s northern temperate forest and boreal forest.

Its results suggest that the impact of silviculture intensity in these forests does not correspond with a specific model. However, plant biodiversity seems to depend on the relationship between silviculture intensity and climate.

By gaining a better understanding of the relationship between plant biodiversity and silviculture intensity, foresters would be able to develop silviculture strategies that have less of an impact on plant biodiversity.