Canadian Forest Service Publications

Wood fibre value simulation model: a new tool to assist measuring changes in forest landscapes by evaluating forest inventory. 2016. Li, C.; Barclay, H.; Huang, S.; Sidders, D. Landscape Ecology 32(7):1517-1530.

Year: 2016

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 37057

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1007/s10980-016-0406-6

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Context - A challenging issue in landscape ecology is the evaluation of changes in a forest landscape following a disturbance. This evaluation usually entails examining changes in the forest inventory, which represents the best information available for a given forest region.

Objectives - Our aim was to extend existing methods used to evaluate forest inventory to include additional variables, such as value-based forest product options, wood fibre attributes, and ecosystem services. Inclusion of such variables in forest inventory evaluations would allow research results to be presented from an economic perspective, which is often required for policy development and forest management decision making.

Methods - We developed a value-based framework to evaluate forest inventory and implemented it in the wood fibre value simulation model. We then used a local data set from Manitoba, Canada, to show how the model can be applied to the mapping of new inventory layers to facilitate the evaluation of landscape changes.

Results - Five new inventory layers are mapped including bioenergy and heating value that can be directly used for evaluating landscape changes, and wood density, fibre length, and pulp yield, which can be combined with total wood volume to derive new variables or indices to express changes in landscape conditions.

Conclusions - Our model can contribute to the assessment of landscape changes by indicating the values a forest can have when it is used for different conservation or utilization purposes. The model can also support improved decision-making with respect to the management of forest resources.

Plain Language Summary

Characterizing and evaluating changes in the conditions of a forest landscape under different disturbances is a challenging issue in landscape ecology. Making decisions about the best strategies for managing the forest resources is also challenging. A forest inventory is a survey of a forest area to help determine the condition of the area and the timber (including volume and species) for specific purposes such as evaluation, planning, purchasing, managing, and harvesting. A forest inventory provides detailed information for a given forest area; the changes in forest inventory before and after a disturbance reflect the effect of the disturbance on the forest landscape. Evaluating the changes in a forest inventory can help researchers measure landscape changes. Research results show that wood value is not always equal in value to wood volume. This is important, so we developed a framework for evaluating forest inventory in the wood fiber simulation model (WFVSM). This model measures forest products in terms of dollars, and non-commercial values such as ecosystem services, which are direct and indirect contributions of ecosystems to human well-being. The WFVSM was developed to help answer the question of what values a forest could provide when it is used for different purposes, either traditional industrial use such as harvesting the wood or conservation. A case study was completed using data from Manitoba, Canada; this paper shows a stand-level model (WFVSM) can be used to help map new inventory variables and contribute to the assessment of landscape changes.