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Articles by Alain Leduc

Category: Research article

article id 565, category Research article
Sybille Haeussler, Lorne Bedford, Alain Leduc, Yves Bergeron, J. Marty Kranabetter. (2002). Silvicultural disturbance severity and plant communities of the southern Canadian boreal forest. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 1 article id 565. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.565
Keywords: site preparation; species composition; species diversity; ecosystem integrity; degradation; biodiversity indicators; life history strategies
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
Boreal forest ecosystems are adapted to periodic disturbance, but there is widespread concern that conventional forest practises degrade plant communities. We examined vegetation diversity and composition after clearcut logging, mechanical and chemical site preparation in eight 5- to 12-yr old studies located in southern boreal forests of British Columbia and Quebec, Canada to find useful indicators for monitoring ecosystem integrity and to provide recommendations for the development and testing of new silvicultural approaches. Community-wide and species-specific responses were measured across gradients of disturbance severity and the results were explained in terms of the intermediate disturbance hypothesis and a simple regeneration model based on plant life history strategies. Species richness was 30 to 35% higher 5 to 8 years after clearcut logging than in old forest. Total and vascular species diversity generally peaked on moderately severe site treatments, while non-vascular diversity declined with increasing disturbance severity. On more-or-less mesic sites, there was little evidence of diversity loss within the range of conventional silvicultural disturbances; however, there were important changes in plant community composition. Removing soil organic layers caused a shift from residual and resprouting understory species to ruderal species regenerating from seeds and spores. Severe treatments dramatically increased non-native species invasion. Two important challenges for the proposed natural dynamics-based silviculture will be 1) to find ways of maintaining populations of sensitive non-vascular species and forest mycoheterotrophs, and 2) to create regeneration niches for disturbance-dependent indigenous plants without accelerating non-native species invasion.
  • Haeussler, C2 Site 81 RR#2 Monckton Rd., Smithers, B.C., Canada V0J 2N0 E-mail: skeena@bulkley.net (email)
  • Bedford, B.C. Ministry of Forests, P.O. Box 9513 Stn. Prov. Govt., Victoria, B.C., Canada, V8W 9C2 E-mail: lb@nn.ca
  • Leduc, Groupe de recherche en écologie forestière interuniversitaire, Université du Québec à Montréal, CP 8888, Succursale A, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3C 3P8 E-mail: al@nn.ca
  • Bergeron, Groupe de recherche en écologie forestière interuniversitaire, Université du Québec à Montréal, CP 8888, Succursale A, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3C 3P8 E-mail: yb@nn.ca
  • Kranabetter, B.C. Ministry of Forests, Bag 5000, Smithers, B.C., Canada, V0J 2N0 E-mail: jmk@nn.ca

Category: Review article

article id 553, category Review article
Yves Bergeron, Alain Leduc, Brian D. Harvey, Sylvie Gauthier. (2002). Natural fire regime: a guide for sustainable management of the Canadian boreal forest. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 1 article id 553. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.553
Keywords: biodiversity; natural disturbance; landscape patterns; coarse filter; harvest pattern; volume retention; historic variability; even-age management
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
The combination of certain features of fire disturbance, notably fire frequency, size and severity, may be used to characterize the disturbance regime in any region of the boreal forest. As some consequences of fire resemble the effects of industrial forest harvesting, conventional forest management is often considered as a disturbance that has effects similar to those of natural disturbances. Although the analogy between forest management and fire disturbance in boreal ecosystems has some merit, it is important to recognise that it also has its limitations. Short fire cycles generally described for boreal ecosystems do not appear to be universal; rather, important spatial and temporal variations have been observed in Canada. These variations in the fire cycle have an important influence on forest composition and structure at the landscape and regional levels. Size and severity of fires also show a large range of variability. In regions where the natural matrix of the boreal forest remains relatively intact, maintenance of this natural variability should be targeted by forest managers concerned with biodiversity conservation. Current forest management tends to reduce this variability: for example, fully regulated, even-aged management will tend to truncate the natural forest age distribution and eliminate over-mature and old-growth forests from the landscape. We suggest that the development of strategic-level forest management planning approaches and silvicultural techniques designed to maintain a spectrum of forest compositions and structures at different scales in the landscape is one avenue to maintain this variability. Although we use the boreal forest of Quebec for our examples, it is possible to apply the approach to those portions of the boreal forest where the fire regime favours the development of even-aged stands in burns.
  • Bergeron, NSERC-UQAT-UQAM Industrial Chair in Sustainable Forest Management, C.P. 8888, Succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3C 3P8 E-mail: bergeron.yves@uqam.ca (email)
  • Leduc, NSERC-UQAT-UQAM Industrial Chair in Sustainable Forest Management, C.P. 8888, Succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3C 3P8 E-mail: al@nn.ca
  • Harvey, NSERC-UQAT-UQAM Industrial Chair in Sustainable Forest Management, C.P. 8888, Succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3C 3P8 E-mail: bdh@nn.ca
  • Gauthier, NSERC-UQAT-UQAM Industrial Chair in Sustainable Forest Management, C.P. 8888, Succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3C 3P8 E-mail: sg@nn.ca

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