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Biodiversity Assessment Project - 140-006

Description: Foresters and operational planners require good data and information to develop the best possible forest management options and strategies. In many recent forest management planning initiatives, ecosystem diversity, landscape pattern and configuration, and species-specific habitat supply have become prominent concerns in the production of credible and comprehensive forest management plans.

Most biodiversity models are designed to predict the potential impacts of various forest management practices on the biological values within the forest. These models are important in the context of the goals and objectives of the Forestry Research Partnership. The Partnership target of increasing the amount of fibre that can be harvested within Tembec forest license areas by 10% in the next 10 years must be achieved in the context of ecological sustainability, as well as reduced operational costs, improved fibre utilization, and enhanced future fibre quality. This sustainability involves maintaining wildlife habitat, landscape pattern, and ecosystem integrity, as well as guaranteeing wood fibre to mills.

In order to initiate dialogue and collaboration between biodiversity modellers (i.e. Ontario government and forest industry leaders) a Biodiversity Modeling Workshop was held in Thunder Bay, Ontario from November 15 to November 17, 2000. The focus of the workshop was the examination of existing biodiversity assessment tools being developed and used across Canada. The workshop was officially entitled 'Modeling Biodiversity Responses to Forest Management', and was sponsored by the Sustainable Forest Management Network of Centres of Excellence and Tembec Inc. For the Forestry Research Partnership, the workshop allowed an exploration into the potential of applying some external (out of province) modeling work, to Ontario.

The objectives of this three-day session were to:

1. transfer knowledge to potential users;
2. foster synergy among researchers;
3. evaluate utility of bio-modelling research in forest management applications;
4. identify key areas of uncertainty; and
5. develop cooperative research strategies.

The Biodiversity Modeling Workshop held in Thunder Bay, Ontario was a success. This workshop was designed to be a forum for knowledge transfer on the application of biodiversity assessment tools for forest management. The workshop focused on the examination of existing biodiversity models that have been developed in Ontario, Alberta, and Quebec. It proved to be an excellent opportunity to foster synergies and interactions among research projects. The workshop spawned follow-up discussion to develop new FRP projects focusing on biodiversity issues, and modeling.

 

The Project Team: Jonathan Russell, Millar-Western Forest Products Ltd., Laird VanDamme, KBM Forestry Consulting Ltd.

 

Papers:

Thompson, I.D., Baker, J.A. and Ter-Mikaelian, M. 2003. A review of the long-term effects of post-harvest silviculture on vertebrate wildlife, and predictive models, with an emphasis on boreal forests in Ontario, Canada. Forest Ecology and Management 177: 441–469.

 

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