Canadian Forest Service Publications

Ecosystem management in paludified boreal forests: enhancing wood production, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration at the landscape level. 2018. Lafleur, B.; Fenton, N.J.; Simard, M.; Leduc, A.; Paré, D.; Valeria, O.; Bergeron, Y. 2018. For. Ecosyst. 5: 27.

Year: 2018

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 39223

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1186/s40663-018-0145-z

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Canada’s boreal forest represents an important contributor of the world’s wood supply industry. However, maintaining or increasing productivity of the boreal forest may be challenging in areas dominated by forested peatlands. Moreover, sustainable management of these forests must also consider other important aspects of the forest ecosystem such as biodiversity and carbon sequestration. To address these concerns, ecosystem-based management has been implemented in some Canadian jurisdictions, such as in regions where a large portion of the boreal forest is dominated by forested peatlands. The objectives of this paper are (1) to summarize our current understanding of how natural disturbances influence stand dynamics and biodiversity in forested peatlands, and (2) to review the main differences between natural and managed forest stands with respect to soil properties, stand productivity, understory plant communities. We also discuss how even-age management regime succeeds or fails to preserve old forests and how this loss affects both forest structure and habitat diversity at the landscape level. We conclude by showing how, in boreal forested peatlands, forest management could contribute to carbon sequestration and mitigate projected climate change.

Plain Language Summary

In this article, the researchers present a summary of knowledge on the impact of natural disturbances on stand dynamics and stand productivity as well as on carbon sequestration and biodiversity in paludified boreal forests. These forests are characterized by an accumulation of organic matter composed of sphagnum moss that causes productivity losses and forest regeneration issues. Researchers describe how this knowledge can be used to guide forest management in order to limit the negative impacts on soil properties, forest productivity and understory plant communities in this type of forest.

The researchers also discuss the limits of even-aged management, whether by clearcutting or cutting with regeneration and soil protection, and how this affects both forest structure and habitat diversity at the landscape level.

Finally, they describe how managing these forests could enhance carbon sequestration and mitigate the projected climate change.