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Clear-cutting without additional regeneration treatments can trigger successional setbacks prolonging the expected time to compositional recovery in boreal forests

Barrette Martin, Boucher Yan, Dumais Daniel et Auger Isabelle. (2022). Clear-cutting without additional regeneration treatments can trigger successional setbacks prolonging the expected time to compositional recovery in boreal forests. European Journal of Forest Research, 141, p. 629-639.

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URL officielle: https://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1007/s10342-022-01465-5

Résumé

Clear-cutting is one of the most widespread forestry practices used in boreal forests. Clear-cutting of boreal forests in late successional stages could trigger reversion of successional trajectories back toward forests of earlier stages. Such successional setbacks could generate sustainability issues by prolonging the expected time to compositional recovery after clear-cutting. This could lead to overestimation of allowable cuts of economically important late-successional species if the occurrence of successional setbacks remains unassessed. Our objective was to assess whether clear-cutting without additional regeneration treatments has triggered successional setbacks. We studied post-clearcut successional trajectories by using forest inventory data in post-clearcut stands, in light of conceptual successional dynamics models. These data covered the actively managed boreal forest region of Quebec, eastern Canada, which is classified into two ecological regions, themselves subdivided into eastern (cool–wet) and western (warm–dry) sub regions. Clear-cutting triggered successional setbacks in half of these regions. Such setbacks could prolong, by at least an additional century, the expected time to compositional recovery after clear-cutting. To prevent the overestimation of allowable cuts of economically important late-successional species, foresters could monitor post-clear-cut successional trajectories to assess whether setbacks were triggered. Post-clear-cut successional setbacks occurred in the two western ecological regions where climatic conditions are warmer and drier than in their eastern counterpart where no setbacks occurred. Hence, sustainability issues brought on by successional setbacks may be exacerbated by climate change. Finally, furthering our understanding of the transformation of successional dynamics by anthropogenic disturbances will be essential to insure sustainable forestry practices.

Type de document:Article publié dans une revue avec comité d'évaluation
ISSN:1612-4669
Volume:141
Pages:p. 629-639
Version évaluée par les pairs:Oui
Date:2022
Identifiant unique:10.1007/s10342-022-01465-5
Sujets:Sciences naturelles et génie > Sciences appliquées > Foresterie et sciences du bois
Sciences naturelles et génie > Sciences naturelles > Biologie et autres sciences connexes
Département, module, service et unité de recherche:Départements et modules > Département des sciences fondamentales
Mots-clés:successional dynamics, forest landscapes, allowable cuts, sustainable forestry, climate change
Déposé le:16 déc. 2022 21:27
Dernière modification:16 déc. 2022 21:27
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