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Naturalness assessment performed using forestry maps to validate forest management sustainability

Barrette Martin, Dumais Daniel, Auger Isabelle, Boucher Yan, Bouchard Mathieu et Bouliane Julie. (2020). Naturalness assessment performed using forestry maps to validate forest management sustainability. Ecological Indicators, 119, e106832.

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URL officielle: http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1016/j.ecolind.2020.10683...

Résumé

One-quarter of forest areas worldwide are managed for forestry purposes. Depending upon the type of practice and intensity of management, forestry may alter forests to various degrees and raise sustainability issues. To mitigate the alteration of natural forests by forestry and to promote sustainability, ecosystem management has been implemented widely over the past quarter century. A need remains for the development of comprehensive and operational assessment approaches to validate its effectiveness. Naturalness assessment could be used to validate effectiveness of ecosystem management since this concept relates to the degree to which a natural state has been altered. We developed an approach that integrates stand- and landscape- scale traits of naturalness into a single comprehensive assessment that can be performed using only forestry maps. To illustrate our approach, we assessed naturalness in four managed forest landscapes (2184 km2), representing a management gradient of increasing intensity from passive restoration to plantation forestry. We defined four naturalness classes, i.e., natural, semi-natural, altered and artificial. Assessment was performed in two steps. At step one, we attributed a class to each managed stand by comparing its current composition with natural stand compositions of its potential natural vegetation. At the landscape scale, certain developmental stages or forest types could be in excess in managed forest landscapes compared with natural forest landscapes. At step two, we transferred numbers of stages or types in excess from the natural class to more altered classes. We demonstrated that naturalness decreased as management intensity increased. Passive restoration and extensive management generated a landscape where semi-natural forests predominated in mixtures with a lower abundance of natural forests. Intensive management generated a largely semi-natural forest landscape. Plantation forestry generated a landscape where semi-natural and altered forests predominated. In conclusion, it should now be possible to validate the effectiveness of different practices and intensity of ecosystem management in promoting sustainability, by performing our assessment approach periodically following every update of forestry maps. Our approach could also allow for more comprehensive assessment of forest management strategies developed to mitigate global change by putting into better perspective their potential effects upon forest alteration of various forestry practices that have been implemented to sequester carbon.

Type de document:Article publié dans une revue avec comité d'évaluation
ISSN:1470160X
Volume:119
Pages:e106832
Version évaluée par les pairs:Oui
Date:2020
Identifiant unique:10.1016/j.ecolind.2020.106832
Sujets:Sciences naturelles et génie > Sciences appliquées > Foresterie et sciences du bois
Département, module, service et unité de recherche:Départements et modules > Département des sciences fondamentales
Mots-clés:Ecosystem management, forest alteration, forestry maps, natural forest landscape, potential natural vegetation, successional dynamics
Déposé le:10 mai 2022 22:11
Dernière modification:10 mai 2022 22:11
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