Develop Study Areas for Measuring Biodiversity Effects - 140-003

Description: This study will bring together data from several areas where intensive forest management has been in practice including boreal mixedwood, boreal clay belt, and Great Lakes St. Lawrence-type forests. Several sources of data will be taken into consideration, including both spatial and aspatial forest management models. At small scales, the provincial growth and yield plots in each of the three forest types and three age classes will help to establish a database for comparisons at the stand level. These plots have a recorded history of measurements that will aid in achieving an understanding of forest community trajectories and their impacts on wildlife communities at the stand level.

If sufficient plots exist in broad forest types and among the study treatments and age classes being studied, then the aggregated plots could enable landscape predictions as well. Further, with the establishment of new growth and yield plots under a larger project umbrella, there is an opportunity to increase the sample size of plots for this project, as well as add value to the growth and yield plot network by collecting data meaningful to the interpretation of use by associated wildlife species. Other larger-scale databases that could be used include the Ontario Forest Resource Inventory (FRI), Ontario Fire History, and company digital cut mapping.

Numerous efforts at intensive forest management exist in Ontario, from as early as the 1930's (e.g., Kirkwood Forest), to large areas of plantation forestry that were established in the early 1980's. In addition, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources began a widespread use of forest herbicides from the 1960's to the late 1980's in much of the managed boreal forest. By examining these stands with knowledge of their exact treatment and history, the team will be able to assess longer-term effects of IFM from the stand-level to the landscape-level. Ian Thompson and his team propose to develop a geo-referenced (GIS) database to catalogue details on locations, sizes, and treatments of existing IFM lands in the first year of the project. This will enable scientists to test hypotheses in year 2+ of the undertaking. The cataloguing of existing IFM lands would be developed in conjunction with other projects of this research program, and ultimately made available to all researchers. This database would then be placed into GIS-format to enable large-scale modelling and overlays of various themes. This new database could then be enhanced as new information is added over time.

The by-product of this study will be a useful and accurate silviculture GIS dataset for input into Tembec information systems, and will ultimately be used to measure the predicted effects of intensive forest management on animal species at multiple scales. This project demonstrates the Forestry Research Partnership’s commitment to sustainable forestry, and will aid in achieving the partnership’s goal of sustainably increasing Tembec’s annual allowable cut 10% over the next 10 years. Digitizing silivicultural records for two study areas; one in the boreal forest near Kapuskasing and one in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence forest region near North Bay has already been completed, and work has now begun on compiling various characteristics of each area.


The Project Team: Ian Thompson, CFS, Steve Holmes, CFS, Jim Baker, OMNR, Rob Rempel, OFRI, Ajith Perera, OFRI



Thompson, I.D., Baker, J.A., Jastrebski, C., Dacosta, J., Fryxell, J. and D. Corbett. 2008. Effects of post-harvest silviculture on use of boreal forest stands by amphibians and marten in OntarioFor. Chron. 84: 741-747.


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