Product Parameter Based DSS for Jack Pine - 150-101

Description: Reduced wood supply is emerging as a constraint to the growth and prosperity of the forest industry in Northern Ontario. To sustain the fibre supply for the forestry industry, which is critical to the economic sustainability of many Northern Ontario communities, it becomes essential to pursue intensive forest management to ensure continued forest productivity.

The stand density management diagram (SDMD) is an innovative decision-support tool developed to aid forest professionals in density management decisions. SDMD is an average stand-level model, which graphically illustrates the dynamic relationships between stand density, tree size and wood volume at various stages of stand development. This model will be able to help forest professionals make various forest management decisions (e.g. initial spacing, thinning, harvesting age, regeneration) to maximize stand yield (wood volume). It provides forest managers with an objective method of determining site-specific density control schedules to achieve specified management objectives. Existing SDMDs use mean total tree volume, or stand yield (wood volume/ha) for their criteria, thus, when using existing SDMDs developed for any species, it is assumed that the management objective is to maximize stand volume. It is well known that each unit volume of wood is not created equally in terms of end-product output; variables such as yield, quality, value, and carbon storage. Factors such as logging and manufacturing costs for each cubic meter of wood can also vary, depending upon stand/tree/wood characteristics. Improving on existing SDMD concepts and developing this product parameter-based decision-making tool is the next step towards achieving the Forestry Research Partnership’s goal of sustainably increasing Tembec’s annual allowable cut of 10% over 10 years. Dr. Tony Zhang and his team are now in the process of developing this valuable tool.

Jack Pine is one of the most valuable tree species in Northern Ontario, primarily due to its commercial and reforestation qualities. Dr. Zhang and his team focused on this species for these reasons and expect their product to be applicable and useful throughout Northern Ontario and beyond in other boreal applications. It will provide one of the first 'hard wire' connections between growth and quality available to forest managers at the field level in Canada and will add a new, much needed dimension of sophistication to long term silvicultural planning.

A product parameter-based decision-support tool will allow forest managers to make better forest management decisions based on desired product outputs from individual stands rather than solely wood volume production. More accurate decisions can thus be made in the economic and marketing contexts. This tool will help define the forest management strategy required to achieve specific management objectives such as maximum value and higher quality. This model will also be used by sawmills to determine the optimal sawing strategies for different species based on their stem characteristics. Forest companies will be able to predict the optimum type of products that can be extracted from a particular stand, thus leading to potential savings in harvesting and transportation costs and therefore gaining an edge in product marketing. All of this technology will contribute to assisting Tembec foresters in implementing the best management practices. This will ultimately contribute to the partnership’s goal of bringing about a sustainable increase in annual allowable cut of 10% over 10 years across Tembec licenses.


The Project Team: Tony Zhang, Forintek



Development of a Product Parameter Based Decision Support System for Jack Pine Stand Management


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