Forest Vegetation Simulator Calibration - 130-107

Description: The Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS) is an individual tree, non-spatial growth and yield computer model that:

  • Provides detailed summary data on density, volume, species, DBH, height, and MAI;
  • Can simulate most common forms of harvesting activities (including partial harvesting methods, commercial thinning, etc.);
  • Can simulate natural forest regeneration or planting (for some species);
  • Can simulate prescribed fire (US variants of the model);
  • Has the flexibility to model complex stands of many species, and multi-canopy associations;
  • Can integrate with various computer extensions that include insect and disease modules and fire and fuels extensions that have been developed elsewhere;
  • Has the ability to provide required input files for other computer models (e.g., wood supply models)
  • Has been adopted by the U.S. Forest Service as the national modeling framework. 


FVS has been designed to project ground based inventory data. Recent work in British Columbia involves the development of methods of integrating the provinces forest inventory description into individual tree lists for model input.

Making it work for Ontario…
The adaptation and development of FVS for Ontario will be a phased approach, with some overlap, taking several years to complete. Validation and calibration of the model for both the Boreal and Great Lakes St. Lawrence forest regions, as well as the modification and re-programming of complex computer algorithms, and of the model’s front-end (user interface) are underway.
Phase One of the project involves the calibration of an Ontario version of FVS.
Phase Two of the project will involve case studies and a preliminary evaluation of the FVS Ontario prototype.
Phase Three will bring about the development of a comprehensive FVS Ontario model that more accurately reflects and represents the forest conditions and composition of Ontario.
Phase Four of the FVS Project involves additional research and calibration.

Future Development Possibilities…
- Tree List Generator
- Landscape and Wood Supply Linkages

The Forest Vegetation Simulator Project is allowing the adaptation and development for Ontario, of a powerful and proven individual tree and stand level modeling tool. Its potential to visually communicate how a forest stand grows, either naturally, or following forest management activities will be useful to foresters and planners in evaluating various management scenarios, and in demonstrating these different options and their results during public and professional consultation. FVS will be highly useful in Ontario for forest inventory maintenance, wood supply modeling, determining thinning regimes, and in developing partial harvesting strategies in mixed wood stands.


The Project Team: Murray Woods and John Parton, OMNR, Dave Nesbitt and Scott McPherson, OMNR, Guy Larocque and Valerie Lacerte, CFS



Pokharel, B. and R.E. Froese. 2009. Representing site productivity in the basal area increment model for FVS-Ontario. Forest Ecol. Manage.



FVS-Ontario Overview


Tree Tips:

Tree Tip for project 130-107, February 2006


Status Reports:
Status Report (2007-2008)

Project Work Report (2007-2008)

Status Report (2008-2009)

Financial Summary (2008-2009)

Status Report (2009-2010)

Status Report (2010-2011)


For Additional Information Contact:

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