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Multi-Cohort Management


Description: Multi Cohort Forest Management (MCFM) requires the development of strategic-level forest management planning approaches and stand-level silvicultural techniques to maintain a spectrum of forest compositions and structures at different scales across landscapes (referenced). MCFM requires the proportion of forests in each cohort within a forest management unit to be maintained, over time, through the application of appropriate stand-level silviculture. ‘Cohorts’ are conceptual classifications of broad stages of forest succession, where relatively dense, young, even-aged forest stands are separated from progressively more open, uneven-aged stands in later stages of development based on structural and compositional attributes.

Measuring downed woody debris in a PGP

The purpose of the project is to supplement and standardize the collection of forest structure and age data for a subset of permanent growth plots (PGP’s) and permanent sample plots (PSP’s) within the northeastern Ontario MNR Growth and Yield plot network for Site District 3E-1. This district encompasses the Boreal Claybelt and includes area from Hearst district eastward to the Quebec-Ontario border. Downed woody debris, vetran tree age, and vertical and horizontal heterogeneity data will be integrated with existing growth and yield plot data to classify plots into three broad stages of forest development based on the multi-cohort concept.

A preliminary data analysis, completed in 2001 by the Northeast Science and Information (NESI) section of the MNR, has provided a subset of 134 PSP’s and PGP’s (94 in Site District 3E-1, and 40 new PGP’s in Hearst district) that are believed to represent 3 cohorts for 4 standard forest units in the northeast region. The forest units include: SF1, SB1, MW2, and SP1. Nevertheless, some information that has the potential to add rigour to the cohort classification, such as downed woody debris and horizontal and vertical heterogeneity data, has not been collected or is inconsistent across forest units and years of surveys.    Therefore, the main objective of this project is to implement a consistent downed woody debris and horizontal and vertical heterogeneity data collection for PGP’s and PSP’s involved in the cohort classification work.

Other objectives for this project include:
·     To collect tree cores from veteran trees in stands to arrive at estimates of time since disturbance;
·     To use these data in wildlife-habitat studies in 2004 and 2005 relative to cohorts, with bird, small mammal, and insect surveys being planned to correspond with the sites involved in this ecological data sampling; and
·     To add to the suite required for provincially acceptable forest management plans that are based on the multi-cohort-approach.

Using a Densiometer to calculate crown closure

In the fall 2003, a total of 95 PSP’s and PGP’s involved in cohort classification work were revisited to collect additional downed woody debris, age, and canopy overstory density data. 

Cohort classification relies on compositional, structural, and aged data, some of which was missing for selected sites prior to the Multi-Cohort Stand Structure Sampling Project. Cohort classification is an important first step towards a multi-cohort management approach, something Tembec Inc. is interested in pursuing as early as 2007 for one of their northeast management units. In addition, wildlife studies that are planned, will correspond to the sites sampled during the project and will contribute additional data that are essential for provincially acceptable forest management plans using a multi-cohort approach.

The Project Team: Ben Kuttner, RPF, Forestry Consultant, PhD candidate, University of Toronto, Gordon Kayahara, OMNR, John Parton, OMNR, Wally Bidwell, LAMF

Project Outputs:

Description, Characterization, and Identification of Stand Structure Classes in Northeastern Ontario: The Application of Multi-Cohort Concepts in the Classification of Stands from Four Forest Types to Cohorts - LAMF Technical Report

Tree Tip

Cohort Classification in Northeastern Ontario - Poster

Moving from Ground Based Determination of Structural Cohort Classes to Landscape Level Predictive Models Using Enhanced Inventory - Presentation

Linking Research, People and Education; Sharing Visions of our Future Forests to Support Future Generations - Presentation

Multi-Cohort Stand Structure and Wildlife Communities in Boreal Northeastern Ontario - Presentation

Ground Plot-Based Stand Structure Classification Results and Next Steps - Presentation

An Application of Multi-Cohort Concepts to Determine Stand Structure Classes - Presentation

Multi-Cohort Forest Management Opportunities in Boreal Northeastern Ontario - Presentation

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