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Ecosystem Management in the Boreal Forest

Edited by Sylvie Gauthier

Publication Year: 2009

The book includes a review of major disturbance regimes that shape the natural dynamics of the boreal forest and gives examples from different Canadian boreal regions. Several projects implementing the forest ecosystem management approach are presented to illustrate the challenges created by current forestry practices and the solutions that this new approach can provide.

Published by: Presses de l'Université du Québec

Title Page, Copyright Page, Preface, Acknowledgements

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pp. iii-xii

Table of Contents

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pp. xiii-xvi

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pp. 1-10

At the beginning of the 21st century, Canadian forestry has to face several social and economic issues to meet various societal needs (see box 1). Ecological concerns have been added to these issues by forest scientists who have been studying boreal forest ecosystems for decades. By observing forest landscape changes following ...

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Chapter 1 : Forest Ecosystem Management

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pp. 13-37

In the last few years, there has been a growing will across Canada to use an ecosystem-based management approach in forest management (Perera et al. 2004). In addition, forest ecosystem management has become the focus of discussions among researchers interested in how a forest functions and an increasingly ...

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Chapter 2 : How Can Natural Disturbances Be a Guide for Forest Ecosystem Management ?

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pp. 39-55

Natural disturbances are ecological processes inherent to forest ecosystems (White and Pickett 1985; Attiwill 1994), including boreal forests (MacLean 1980; Morin 1994; Johnson et al. 1998; Kneeshaw 2001; McCarthy 2001; Wooster and Zhang 2004), where they are important drivers of forest dynamics and shape the diversity ...

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Chapter 3 : Fire Frequency and Forest Management Based on Natural Disturbances

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pp. 57-77

In the first chapter of this book, several questions were raised with regard to the impact of current forest management practices. The quasi-exclusive use of clearcutting combined with a short rotation period result in more or less drastic changes in age-class distribution of forest landscapes. These changes are especially ...

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Chapter 4 : Climate, Weather, and Forest Fires

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pp. 79-102

The past decades has seen an increasing interest in forest management based on historical or natural disturbance dynamics. The rationale is that management that favours landscape compositions and stand structures similar to those found historically should also maintain biodiversity and essential ecological functions ...

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Chapter 5 : Management Solutions to Face Climate Change

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pp. 105-127

The forestry sector hesitated for a long time over integrating the problem of climate change into its policies and planning. Given the uncertainty about predictions of climate change effects at the forest management unit level, such hesitation is understandable (Burton 1998; Johnston et al. 2006). However, forest ...

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Chapter 6 : Spatial Structure of Rorest Stands and Remnants under Fire and Timber Harvesting Regimes

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pp. 129-154

In the past few decades, timber harvesting has emerged as a major source of disturbance in boreal forest ecosystems. This predominance of harvesting over fire as the primary disturbance agent raises questions about the long-term maintenance of ecological processes (Kimmins 1997). First, fires rarely produce homogenous ...

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Chapter 7 : Spruce Budworm Outbreak Regimes in Eastern North America

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pp. 155-182

The spruce budworm (SBW) (Choristoneura fumiferana Clem.) is the principal defoliating insect of fir and spruce in the boreal forests of eastern North America. Outbreaks have occurred every 25 to 40 years at the supra-regional scale during the 20th century (Royama 1984; Candau et al. 1998; Jardon et al. 2003; Royama ...

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Chapter 8 : Forest Tent Caterpillar Outbreak Dynamics from Manitoba to New Brunswick

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pp. 183-202

Introduction Insect outbreaks are an important natural disturbance in the boreal forest region. Timber loss in the boreal zone of Canada due to insect outbreaks is estimated to be 1.3 to 2.0 times greater per year than wildfire loss (Volney and Fleming 2000). In eastern Canada, the spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana Clem.) has ...

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Chapter 9 : Applying Knowledge of Natural Disturbance Regimes to Develop Forestry Practices Inspired by Nature in the Southern Region of the Gaspé Peninsula

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pp. 203-227

Variations in conditions created by disturbances such as intense fire and canopy gaps generate structural and compositional diversity (Denslow 1987; Frelich 2002), two aspects critical for the maintenance of biodiversity. Given their major impacts at both stand and landscape scales, forest fires and insect outbreaks have ...

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Chapter 10 : Towards an Ecosystem Approach to Managing the Boreal Forest in the North Shore Region

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pp. 229-255

Until recently the boreal forest was considered an even-aged forest and managed as such. It was assumed that succession through species replacement in the canopy and the establishment of an uneven-aged structure were unlikely to occur given the short interval between major disturbances and the ubiquity of disturbances ...

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Chapter 11 : Ecosystem Management of Québec's Northern Clay Belt Spruce Forest

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pp. 257-286

Forests of the northern Clay Belt of Québec and Ontario (Canada) are dominated by black spruce forests. The natural landscape and stand dynamics of these forests have been widely studied (Bergeron et al. 2002; Lefort et al. 2002; Gauthier et al. 2004; Carleton and Maycock 1978, 1980). Many studies have documented ...

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Chapter 12 : Forest Dynamics of the Duck Mountain Provincial Forest, Manitoba, and the Implications for Forest Management

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pp. 287-318

In recent years the forest industry has been directed towards a more sustainable forest management approach, including ecologically based management encompassing a broad range of values over large spatial and temporal scales (Galindo- Leal and Bunnell 1995; Gauthier et al., chapter 1). Within ecological management ...

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Chapter 13 : Siviculture in a Context of Forest Ecosystem Management in Boreal and Southern Boreal Forests

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pp. 319-342

One of the main goals of Forest Ecosystem Management (FEM) is to use silvicultural techniques that are appropriate for maintaining ecosystems relatively close to their natural state, or to recover that state when they have been modified by human activity (for the differences between silviculture and forest management ...

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Chapter 14 : An Adaptive Framework for Monitoring Ecosystem Management in the Boreal Black Spruce Forest

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pp. 343-371

The development of forest management strategies that strive to maintain the processes, structures, and functions of forest ecosystems, all the while permitting the commercial extraction of wood, is an idea that has been widely debated internationally over the past fifteen years (Hunter 1990; Franklin 1993; Attiwill ...

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Chapter 15 : Silvicultural and Ecological Evaluation of Partial Harvest in the Boreal Forest on the Clay Belt, Québec

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pp. 373-393

The almost exclusive use of even-aged harvest systems (e.g., clearcuts or CPRSu) in boreal Canada has significantly altered the landscape of regions with a long fire cycle and subsequently a dominance of old forest (second- and third-cohort stands where dominant trees reach the canopy many years after fire; Gauthier ...

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Chapter 16 : Modelling Complex Stands and the Effects of Silvicultural Treatments

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pp. 395-419

Once the principles of forest management based on natural ecosystem dynamics have been established, we must be able to identify the appropriate interventions for maintaining or recreating the natural structures observed in multi-cohort stands. To achieve this, silviculurists will likely have to either apply silvicultural ...

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Chapter 17 : Scenario Planning and Operational Practices within a Sustainable Forest Management Plan

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pp. 421-448

The conservation of biodiversity is a fundamental aspect of a sustainable forest management approach. Research suggests that biodiversity can be maintained through the development of planning and operational forest practices designed to maintain forest conditions similar to those created by natural disturbance. ...

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Chapter 18 : Forest Ecosystem Management in the Boreal Mixedwood Forest of Western Québec

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pp. 449-478

We have seen in previous chapters that an ecosystem approach to forest management requires a good understanding of the natural disturbance regime at a regional level, if not on a much larger spatial scale. In the boreal forest, probably more than any other biome, the area affected by major disturbances, particularly ...

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Chapter 19 : Project Tembec

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pp. 479-499

The increasing interest for forestry practices based on natural disturbance patterns and the arrival of forestry certification programs (CSA, SFI, and FSCu) that open new markets have encouraged Tembec to invest in a new forest management project. Originally coordonated by the NSERC-UQAT-UQAM Industrial Chair in ...

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Chapter 20 : Old-Forest Conservation Strategies in Wet-Trench Forests of the Upper Fraser River Watershed, British Columbia

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pp. 501-518

Historically, old-forest ecosystems in the upper Fraser River watershed were regarded as non-merchantable or decadent parts of the timber harvesting land-base. Conversion of old forests to more productive younger stands was seen as an appropriate management objective (Sloan 1956). With greater appreciation ...

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Chapter 21 : Perspectives

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pp. 519-526

Throughout this book we have presented a number of examples that succinctly describe a forest ecosystem management approach. Far from being an exhaustive analysis, we consider this to be a reference point from which the development and application of FEM principles can be further refined and adapted for a ...

Authors’ Contact Information

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pp. 527-533


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pp. 535-539

E-ISBN-13: 9782760523821
Print-ISBN-13: 9782760523814

Page Count: 574
Publication Year: 2009

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Taigas -- Management -- Environmental aspects -- Canada.
  • Sustainable forestry -- Canada.
  • Logging -- Environmental aspects -- Canada.
  • Forest conservation -- Canada.
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