Influencing plantation stand structure through close-to-nature silviculture - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles European Journal of Forest Research Year : 2021

Influencing plantation stand structure through close-to-nature silviculture


New silvicultural practices to meet the requirements of ecosystem-based forest management are being adopted operationally, even if the long-term outcomes remain unknown. In eastern Quebec, Canada, the conversion of plantations from even-aged to irregular or uneven-aged stands is being carried out in 10% of commercial thinning operations. Existing growth and yield simulators cannot be used to forecast stand development. Here we apply a novel individual tree-level simulator to plantations characterized by high levels of natural regeneration ingrowth, such as those observed in Quebec. The simulator user can either choose distance-dependent or distance-independent competition indices, depending on user preference or simulation needs. Calibration statistics and validation results indicate that both versions perform very well. When applied to operational silvicultural scenarios, the simulator shows that thinning does not influence total stand yield; however, tree spatial aggregation does change. Moreover, the variability among the different simulation runs is greater for spatial statistics than for stand yield. Overall, thinning from below has the greatest effect on stand structure, whereas the smallest is from early crop tree release, used as the initial conversion step. This pattern implies that the first and second thinnings of the conversion process towards irregular or uneven-aged stands may not have a major effect on stand structure. In the case of the conversion process, the consequences for stand structure must thus be viewed as a longer-term issue. More importantly, the conversion process does not reduce stand yield, thereby reducing one of the key concerns of forest managers.
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Dates and versions

hal-03109973 , version 1 (14-01-2021)



Robert Schneider, Tony Franceschini, Emmanuel Duchateau, Alexa Bérubé-Deschênes, Laurie Dupont-Leduc, et al.. Influencing plantation stand structure through close-to-nature silviculture. European Journal of Forest Research, 2021, 140, pp.567-587. ⟨10.1007/s10342-020-01349-6⟩. ⟨hal-03109973⟩
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