Multi-Cohort LiDAR U of T - 140-701

Description: Many stands in the boreal forest persist beyond the average fire return interval and develop complex stand structures in which multiple cohorts of trees are represented. Because commercial rotation ages are generally shorter than mean fire return intervals, reliance on even-aged management systems such as clearcutting has the potential, over time, to eliminate the great majority of stands over the rotation age and thereby reduce forest structural diversity at both stand and landscape scales, with concomitant threats to biological and ecological diversity. Multi-cohort Forest Management (MCM) has recently emerged as a forest management strategy that balances habitat diversity and fibre supply needs by emulating the natural structural variability within and among boreal forest stands, including stands older that the average fire return interval. However, progress towards implementation of this strategy has been hindered by a lack of information on forest structure in the current Forest Resource Inventory. As yet, the identification and classification of multi-cohort stands has been restricted to ground-based approaches.

The purpose of the project is to explore LiDAR data in relation to cohort classified ground plots in three boreal forest stand types in northeastern Ontario and to develop LiDAR based stand structural classification tools. LiDAR data will be examined as a means to extend multi-cohort classification beyond field plot boundaries to stand and landscape scales. The technological outcome of the project will be a software application that automates this classification, and is made available as a component part of a more comprehensive forest inventory management system.


The Project Team: Jay Malcolm, University of Toronto, Ben Kuttner, University of Toronto, Murray Woods, OMNR, Wally Bidwell, LAMF, Arnold Rudy, KBM Forestry Consultants Inc.



Sharkey, C.A. 2008. Small mammal communities and multicohort stand structure in boreal northeastern Ontario (Master's thesis).

Burrell, M.V.A. 2009. Multicohort management and LiDAR: New forest management tools for northeastern Ontario boreal mixedwood bird communities (Master's thesis).

Barkley, E.P. 2009. Insect communities and multicohort stand structure in boreal mixedwood forests of northeastern Ontario (Master's thesis).



The Use of LiDAR in Multi-Cohort Classification: An Overview of Proposed Research

Multi-cohort Forest Management in Northeastern Ontario: Cohort Classification, Associated Wildlife Communities, and Projected Stand Dynamics

Multi Cohort Student Presentation Final (.ppt)

140-701 IUFRO Kutnner Final

Multi-cohort forest management in north-eastern Ontario: cohort classification, associated wildlife communities, and projected stand dynamics


Status Reports:

Status Report (2007-2008)

Project Work Report (2007-2008)

Status Report (2009-2010)

Summary of Recent Research on the Gordon Cosen's Forest (29 June 2010)


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