Canadian Forest Service Publications

The Changing Culture of Silviculture. 2021. Achim, A.; Moreau, G.; Coops, N.C.; Axelson, J.N.; Barrette, J.; Bédard, S.; Byrne, K.E.; Caspersen, J.; Dick, A.D.; D'Orangeville, L.; Drolet G.; Eskelson, B.N.I.; Filipescu. C.N.; Flamand-Hubert, M.; Goodbody, T.R.H.; Griess, V.C.; Hagerman, S.M.; Keys, K.; Lafleur, B.; Montoro Girona, M.; Morris, D.M.; Nock, C.A.; Pinno, B.D.; Raymond, P.; Roy, V.; Schneider, R.; Soucy, M.; Stewart, B.; Sylvain J.-D.; Taylor, A.R.; Thiffault, E.; Thiffault, N.; Vepakoma, U.; White, J. Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research, 2021; 1-10

Year: 2021

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 40525

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 1093

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Changing climates are altering the structural and functional components of forest ecosystems at an unprecedented rate. Simultaneously, we are seeing a diversification of public expectations on the broader sustainable use of forest resources beyond timber production. As a result, the science and art of silviculture needs to adapt to these changing realities. In this piece, we argue that silviculturists are gradually shifting from the application of empirically derived silvicultural scenarios to new sets of approaches, methods and practices, a process that calls for broadening our conception of silviculture as a scientific discipline. We propose a holistic view of silviculture revolving around three key themes: observe, anticipate and adapt. In observe, we present how recent advances in remote sensing now enable silviculturists to observe forest structural, compositional and functional attributes in near-real-time, which in turn facilitates the deployment of efficient, targeted silvicultural measures in practice that are adapted to rapidly changing constraints. In anticipate, we highlight the importance of developing state-of-the-art models designed to take into account the effects of changing environmental conditions on forest growth and dynamics. In adapt, we discuss the need to provide spatially explicit guidance for the implementation of adaptive silvicultural actions that are efficient, cost-effective and socially acceptable. We conclude by presenting key steps towards the development of new tools and practical knowledge that will ensure meeting societal demands in rapidly changing environmental conditions. We classify these actions into three main categories: re-examining existing silvicultural trials to identify key stand attributes associated with the resistance and resilience of forests to multiple stressors, developing technological workflows and infrastructures to allow for continuous forest inventory updating frameworks, and implementing bold, innovativesilvicultural trials in consultation with the relevant communities where a range of adaptive silvicultural strategies are tested. In this holistic perspective, silviculture can be defined as the science of observing forest condition and anticipating its development to apply tending and regeneration treatments adapted to a multiplicity of desired outcomes in rapidly changing realities.