Center Detude Of La Foret

Montréal, Canada

Center Detude Of La Foret

Montréal, Canada
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Thiffault N.,Direction de la recherche forestiere | Thiffault N.,Center Detude Of La Foret | Paquette A.,Center Detude Of La Foret | Paquette A.,University of Quebec at Montréal | And 3 more authors.
Silva Fennica | Year: 2017

Use of fast-growing tree plantations on dedicated areas is proposed as a means of reconciling fibre production with conservation objectives. Success of this approach however requires fine-tuning silvicultural scenarios so that survival and growth are optimized while management and environmental costs are minimized. This is particularly challenging for hybrid larch (Larix × marschlinsii Coaz), a shade-intolerant species planted on fertile sites in Quebec (Canada) where legislation prevents the use of chemical herbicides. In this context, multiple motor-manual release treatments are often required, with high impacts on costs and social issues related to the scarcity of a qualified workforce. We established a split-split-plot design on a recently harvested site to assess the main and interaction effects of mechanical site preparation (MSP) intensity (five modalities of trenching or mounding), motor-manual release scenario (one or two treatments) and planting depth (0–3 cm or 3–10 cm) on hybrid larch seedling growth and survival six years after planting. Mechanical site preparation intensity and planting depth did not influence seedling growth after 6 years. The lack of significant interaction between MSP and release scenarios indicates that these operations should be planned independently. A more intensive MSP treatment cannot replace a second motor-manual release on fertile sites, as proposed to reduce costs. Our results also show the significant advantage of performing two motor-manual release treatments two years apart (the first one early in the scenario), over performing a single treatment. Our study provides silvicultural guidelines for the establishment of high-yield exotic larch plantations. © 2017, Finnish Society of Forest Science. All rights reserved.


Ligot G.,University of Liège | Balandier P.,IRSTEA | Courbaud B.,IRSTEA | Jonard M.,Earth and Life Institute | And 2 more authors.
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2014

Close-to-nature management of forests has been increasingly advocated. However forest managers often face difficulties in maintaining mixtures of species with different shade tolerance. In uneven aged stand management, understory light can be manipulated by modifying stand structure and composition, in addition to stand density. Using a forest radiative transfer model, we analyzed how different cutting strategies could modify light availability under the post-harvest canopy. To calibrate the model, we measured and mapped trees in 27 plots with structures ranging from secondary-successional oak forests to late-successional beech forests. We measured understory light and crown openness and verified that our forest radiative transfer model well captured the variability of understory light among the studied stands (R2=87%). We then compared cutting strategies varying in type and intensity and provided indications to promote the regeneration of mixtures of species of different shade tolerances. In particular, creating gaps of about 500m2 provided adequate light for small regeneration clumps. Cutting from below, species-specific cutting and uniform cutting were also appropriate for tree regeneration but uniform cutting required higher harvest intensity. Cutting from above slightly increased understory light and promoted more shade tolerant species. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Periquet S.,University Claude Bernard Lyon 1 | Todd-Jones L.,University of Oxford | Valeix M.,University of Oxford | Stapelkamp B.,University of Oxford | And 8 more authors.
Behavioral Ecology | Year: 2012

The effects on vigilance behavior of environmental cues that affect perceived risk of predation have been widely measured in gregarious herbivores. How extrinsic (e.g., predator activity within certain habitats) and intrinsic (e.g., within-group competition) cues interact depends on the biology of the prey species. However, very little is known about the impact of the actual presence of the predator in the vicinity on fine scale prey vigilance behavior. For this study, we monitored the vigilance of plains zebra (Equus quagga) and impala (Aepyceros melampus) in and around Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. We assessed how the presence of radio-collared lions (Panthera leo) affected the vigilance of their prey. To evaluate the factors affecting vigilance behavior, we measured routine and intense vigilance. Routine vigilance can be conducted while chewing, although during intense vigilance chewing is halted and thus imposes foraging costs as food processing is delayed. As the most acute form of vigilance, we predicted that the presence of lions would lead to an increase in intense vigilance in both species. We found this to be the case for zebra, a key prey species for lions, while impala adjusted their intense vigilance to risk cues less specific to the presence of lions. Potential predation risk posed by lions in the immediate vicinity differs not only between species but also for a given species in different contexts. Our results also reveal how other environmental risk indicators influence the structure of vigilance behavior of large prey species in a manner that reflects their respective ecologies. © 2012 The Author.


Berninger K.,Center Detude Of La Foret | Adamowicz W.,University of Alberta | Kneeshaw D.,Center Detude Of La Foret | Messier C.,Center Detude Of La Foret
Environmental Management | Year: 2010

The challenge of sustainable forest management is to integrate diverse and sometimes conflicting management objectives. In order to achieve this goal, we need a better understanding of the aspects influencing the preferences of diverse groups and how these groups make trade-offs between different attributes of SFM. We compare the SFM preferences of interest groups in regions with different forest use histories based on the reasoning that the condition of the forest reflects the forest use history of the area. The condition of the forest also shapes an individual's forest values and attitudes. These held values and attitudes are thought to influence SFM preferences. We tested whether the SFM preferences vary amongst the different interest groups within and across regions. We collected data from 252 persons using a choice experiment approach, where participants chose multiple times among different options described by a combination of attributes that are assigned different levels. The novelty of our approach was the use of choice experiments in the assessment of regional preference differences. Given the complexity of inter-regional comparison and the small sample size, this was an exploratory study based on a purposive rather than random sample. Nevertheless, our results suggest that the aggregation of preferences of all individuals within a region does not reveal all information necessary for forest management planning since opposing viewpoints could cancel each other out and lead to an interpretation that does not reflect possibly polarised views. Although based on a small sample size, the preferences of interest groups within a region are generally statistically significantly different from each other; however preferences of interest groups across regions are also significantly different. This illustrates the potential importance of assessing heterogeneity by region and by group. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Blanc M.-L.L.,Laval University | Fortin D.,Laval University | Darveau M.,Center Detude Of La Foret | Ruel J.-C.,Laval University
Ecoscience | Year: 2010

The effects of logging on wildlife have been evaluated mainly in landscapes dominated by even-aged forest stands, leaving the impacts of harvesting on wildlife in irregularly structured stands less documented. We assessed the response of small mammals and birds to 4 silvicultural treatments with different levels of tree retention (from < 10% to 73%) in old-growth boreal forests of eastern Canada, where approximately 70% of stands have irregular structure. The experimental design controlled for local variation in the abundance of forest birds and small mammals by pairing each experimental harvested stand with an uncut stand. We found that species richness of small mammals and birds did not vary according to tree retention. Moss cover and vertical cover influenced small mammal community composition, whereas forest bird assemblages responded to conifer basal area, vertical cover, and snag availability. Species associated with silvicultural practices entailing retention levels > 55% included those that prefer closed canopy, such as the brown creeper (Certhia americana), ruby-crowned kinglet (Regulus calendula), and red-backed vole (Myodes gapperi). Our study demonstrates that silvicultural practices with retention levels > 55% are the most suitable for mitigating the impact of logging on animal communities in old-growth irregularly structured stands.


Work T.T.,University of Quebec at Montréal | Work T.T.,Center Detude Of La Foret | Brais S.,University of Québec | Brais S.,Center Detude Of La Foret | And 2 more authors.
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2014

Renewed interest in biomass harvesting has underscored the need for ecologically relevant thresholds and empirical validation of species responses for deadwood retention if biodiversity is to be preserved in managed landscapes. We experimentally reduced volumes of downed deadwood in clear cut jack-pine stands in Western Quebec, Canada and then monitored changes in spider and ground beetle assemblages 1 and 2-years following biomass removal as well as in uncut stands. We reduced volume of downed deadwood by (1) removing residual deadwood placed on machine corridors during the initial harvest of the stand to minimize soil compaction and (2) removing all residual deadwood material throughout the experimental plots. Ground beetle and spider assemblages from deadwood depleted plots were then compared with those in clearcut plots where no additional biomass had been removed and with uncut stands to assess the incremental effect of overstory removal and subsequent biomass removal using multivariate regression trees. We identified 13,822 individual arthropods representing 177 species. We observed differences in species assemblages attributable to the effects of overstory removal (35% of the explained variance) as well as biomass removal, particularly between plots with intensive removal of biomass and those with no additional or moderate removal of biomass (11% of the explained variance). As expected we observed a range of individual species response patterns. Of particular concern were species that experienced incrementally negative effects of overstory and biomass removal and those that were strongly promoted by biomass removal. These species showed responses atypical of those observed following clear cutting and may fall outside both the range of natural variability observed in this region as well as the range of current forest management intensity practiced in North America. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Tittler R.,University of Quebec at Montréal | Filotas E.,Center Detude Of La Foret | Kroese J.,University of Quebec at Montréal | Messier C.,University of Quebec at Montréal
Environmental Management | Year: 2015

Functional zoning has been suggested as a way to balance the needs of a viable forest industry with those of healthy ecosystems. Under this system, part of the forest is set aside for protected areas, counterbalanced by intensive and extensive management of the rest of the forest. Studies indicate this may provide adequate timber while minimizing road construction and favoring the development of large mature and old stands. However, it is unclear how the spatial arrangement of intensive management areas may affect the success of this zoning. Should these areas be agglomerated or dispersed throughout the forest landscape? Should managers prioritize (a) proximity to existing roads, (b) distance from protected areas, or (c) site-specific productivity? We use a spatially explicit landscape simulation model to examine the effects of different spatial scenarios on landscape structure, connectivity for native forest wildlife, stand diversity, harvest volume, and road construction: (1) random placement of intensive management areas, and (2–8) all possible combinations of rules (a)–(c). Results favor the agglomeration of intensive management areas. For most wildlife species, connectivity was the highest when intensive management was far from the protected areas. This scenario also resulted in relatively high harvest volumes. Maximizing distance of intensive management areas from protected areas may therefore be the best way to maximize the benefits of intensive management areas while minimizing their potentially negative effects on forest structure and biodiversity. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Hebert F.,Center Detude Of La Foret | Thiffault N.,Center Detude Of La Foret | Ruel J.-C.,Center Detude Of La Foret | Munson A.D.,Center Detude Of La Foret
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2010

Vegetative layering of black spruce (Picea mariana [Mill.] B.S.P.) is the principal mode of regeneration for over mature, uneven-aged stands subject to long fire cycles (>300 years) in northeastern Québec, Canada. However, growth response of black spruce layers following disturbance by fire or harvest can be slow, due to a lag of morphological acclimation and potential nutrient limitation. This phenomenon can be accentuated if black spruce is associated with ericaceous shrubs such as Kalmia angustifolia and Rhododendron groenlandicum, which are known to interfere with conifer growth through direct and indirect competition. Such interactions can result in productive stands being converted to unproductive heathlands. It is not known whether these effects of ericaceous shrubs on black spruce are accentuated on low fertility sites, or if the impacts are independent of inherent site fertility. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effects of ericaceous shrubs on both resource availability and on functional traits of black spruce advance regeneration across a gradient of site fertility (as defined by a site classification system). We monitored black spruce advanced regeneration physiology and soil nutrient availability over two growing seasons on a gradient of ecological site types in northeastern Québec (Canada). The eradication of competing vegetation favored higher soil NH4-N and K availability, with increases of 67% and 28% compared to control conditions, respectively. Black spruce photosynthesis rate (A) and foliar K content were higher in plots where vegetation was eradicated, compared to the control plots, but did not vary among ecological site types. Photosynthesis did not appear to be limited by nitrogen or water relations, but was possibly limited by a deficit of foliar K+, probably resulting from reduced availability following sequestration by the ericaceous root systems. The absence of interaction between inherent site fertility and the eradication of ericaceous shrubs suggests that vegetation management of ericaceous shrubs must be planned independently from the ecological site type. © 2010.


Thiffault N.,Direction de la recherche forestiere | Thiffault N.,Center Detude Of La Foret | Roy V.,Direction de la recherche forestiere | Roy V.,Laurentian Forestry Center
European Journal of Forest Research | Year: 2011

Vegetation management is crucial to meeting the objectives of forest plantations. Following public hearing processes, chemical herbicides were banned on Crown forest lands in Québec (Canada) in 2001. Release now mainly relies on mechanical treatments. Our objectives are to review the historical context and the research conducted over the past 15 years that has led to the province's current vegetation management strategy and to identify the major challenges of vegetation management being faced in Québec in the context of intensive silviculture and ecosystem-based management. Research has led to an integrated management model without herbicides, adapted to the ecological characteristics of reforestation sites. The Québec experience illustrates how, on most sites, vegetation management that is based on early reforestation, the use of tall planting stock and intensive mechanical release brings crop trees to the free-to-grow stage without the use of herbicides and without resulting in major effects on vegetation diversity. This vegetation management strategy is an asset in the implementation of ecosystem-based management. However, research demonstrates that mechanical release alone does not promote optimal crop-tree growth, due to rapid resprouting or suckering of competitors and competition from herbaceous species. Therefore, the current strategy poses important challenges in the management of plantations where the objective is to maximise wood production. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.


PubMed | University of Quebec at Montréal and Center Detude Of La Foret
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Environmental management | Year: 2015

Functional zoning has been suggested as a way to balance the needs of a viable forest industry with those of healthy ecosystems. Under this system, part of the forest is set aside for protected areas, counterbalanced by intensive and extensive management of the rest of the forest. Studies indicate this may provide adequate timber while minimizing road construction and favoring the development of large mature and old stands. However, it is unclear how the spatial arrangement of intensive management areas may affect the success of this zoning. Should these areas be agglomerated or dispersed throughout the forest landscape? Should managers prioritize (a) proximity to existing roads, (b) distance from protected areas, or (c) site-specific productivity? We use a spatially explicit landscape simulation model to examine the effects of different spatial scenarios on landscape structure, connectivity for native forest wildlife, stand diversity, harvest volume, and road construction: (1) random placement of intensive management areas, and (2-8) all possible combinations of rules (a)-(c). Results favor the agglomeration of intensive management areas. For most wildlife species, connectivity was the highest when intensive management was far from the protected areas. This scenario also resulted in relatively high harvest volumes. Maximizing distance of intensive management areas from protected areas may therefore be the best way to maximize the benefits of intensive management areas while minimizing their potentially negative effects on forest structure and biodiversity.

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