Goal Oriented Silviculture IQAFF - 130-402

Description: Selection cutting can be defined as the periodic cutting of individual trees or groups of trees in an uneven-aged stand in order to harvest a certain volume of timber while maintaining quality residual trees and promoting seedling establishment (Metro 1975). Thus the three goals of selection cutting are :

1) increasing stand quality,

2) harvesting quality timber and

3) regenerating the stand.Based on these goals, corresponding tree- marking guidelines can be defined.

The silvicultural approach currently in use in Quebec and Ontario is based on strict adherence to standards. The choice of treatments is determined using sets of norms designed for the different stand types. This approach has two major drawbacks. The first drawback is that the different management goals are all equally important. Therefore, it is sometimes impossible to meet conflicting goals simultaneously. Secondly, as management goals should be site- and stand specific, there may be an infinite combination of goals that cannot be addressed using a standardized approach (Nolet et al. 2001).

In view of this apparent conflict, a new approach named « goal-oriented silviculture » has been developed by the IQAFF. According to this approach, silvicultural prescriptions for a given stand are determined by 1) precisely defined management goals and 2) stand-specific potentials and limitations. Important principles of goal-oriented silviculture are the following (Doyon et al. 2003):

1) The choice of a silvicultural treatment must lead to the development of a target stand;

2) The goals of a silvicultural treatment are precisely defined and classified according to their importance;

3) Treatments are adapted to stand characteristics in terms of site, stand structure and stand composition;

4) The success of a treatment is evaluated by comparing its results with management goals. The level of goal achievement is measured using indicators within the frame of a monitoring protocol;

5) The silviculturist and the forest planner constantly interact.

The overall objective of this project is to test the applicability and to evaluate the costs-benefits of the goal-oriented silvicultural approach (GSA), developed by IQAFF, in maple hardwood forests.


The Project Team: Phillippe Nolet and Frederik Doyon, IQAFF (Institut Quebecois d'Amenagement de la Foret Feuillue)


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