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Time Lagged Growth Response of Large Trees to Canopy Openings - 130-404

Description: Partial harvests are the technique of choice in the tolerant hardwood forests of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence forest region, and are growing in importance in the Boreal region as the value of post-harvest residual structure is recognized. Tembec has operations in both these forest regions, but lacks the information and tools required to properly understand the growth and yield implications of partial harvesting practices.  This uncertainty in growth dynamics translates into uncertainty in wood supply forecasting, an unacceptable situation given the very tight supply/demand situation across northeastern Ontario.  

Tolerant hardwoods managed under selection systems are a primary source of wood supply to Tembec’s mills in Central Ontario.  While these species have been managed under selection systems for some time, the growth and yield estimates attached to them remain relatively weak, as do the models for projecting growth through time.

The value of accurate growth information through time cannot be overstated.  Tembec is required by law to “sustain” the forest, which requires the use of conservative estimates where empirical information is inadequate.  Good research, producing reliable information, is fundamental to ensuring that we harvest what can be sustainably harvested – not more, but not less either.  Projects like this one have the potential to have a direct and fairly immediate impact on our business.

This study will permit to develop time-lagged neighborhood models for predicting post-harvest growth dynamics in selection managed forests.

 

The Project Team: S.C. Thomas and J.P.Caspersen, Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto

 

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