Modelling the potential of forest management to mitigate climate change in Eastern Canadian forests

By Abderrahmane Ameray, YvesBergeron & Xavier Cavard
Nature Scientific Reports
September 4, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

Climate change poses a serious risk to sustainable forest management, particularly in boreal forests where natural disturbances have been projected to become more severe. In three Quebec boreal forest management units, biomass carbon storage under various climate change and management scenarios was projected over 300 years (2010–2310) with a process-based dynamic landscape model. Several strategies varying in their use of partial cuts and clear cuts, including business as usual, were tested and compared to conservation scenarios. Based on simulation results at the landscape scale, the clearcut-based scenarios such as BAU could result in a decrease of biomass carbon stock compared to the natural scenario. However, this reduction in carbon stock could be offset in the long term through changes in composition, as clearcut systems promote the expansion of trembling aspen and white birch. In contrast, the use of strategies based on partial cuts was closer to or better than the natural scenario.

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