MartinFentonMorin2020

Reference

Martin, M., Fenton, N.J., Morin, H. (2020) Boreal old-growth forest structural diversity challenges aerial photographic survey accuracy. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 50(2):155-169.

Abstract

The erosion of old-growth forests in boreal managed landscapes is a major issue currently faced by forest managers; however, resolving this problem requires accurate surveys. The intention of our study was to determine if historic operational aerial forest surveys accurately identified boreal old-growth forests in Quebec, Canada. We first compared stand successional stages (even-aged vs. old-growth) in two aerial surveys performed in 1968 (preindustrial aerial survey) and 2007 (modern aerial survey) on the same 2200 km(2) territory. Second, we evaluated the accuracy of the modern aerial survey by comparing its results with those of 74 field plots sampled in the study territory between 2014 and 2016. The two aerial surveys differed significantly; 80.8% of the undisturbed stands that were identified as "old-growth" in the preindustrial survey were classified as "even-aged" in the modern survey, and 60% of the stands identified as "old-growth" by field sampling were also erroneously identified as "even-aged" by the modern aerial survey. The scarcity of obvious old-growth attributes in boreal old-growth forests, as well as poorly adapted modern aerial survey criteria (i.e., criteria requiring high vertical stratification and significant changes in tree species composition along forest succession), were the main factors explaining these errors. It is therefore likely that most of Quebec's boreal old-growth forests are currently not recognized as such in forest inventories, challenging the efficacy of sustainable forest management policies.

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@ARTICLE { MartinFentonMorin2020,
    AUTHOR = { Martin, M. and Fenton, N.J. and Morin, H. },
    TITLE = { Boreal old-growth forest structural diversity challenges aerial photographic survey accuracy },
    JOURNAL = { Canadian Journal of Forest Research },
    YEAR = { 2020 },
    VOLUME = { 50 },
    NUMBER = { 2 },
    PAGES = { 155-169 },
    MONTH = { feb },
    ISSN = { 0045-5067 },
    ABSTRACT = { The erosion of old-growth forests in boreal managed landscapes is a major issue currently faced by forest managers; however, resolving this problem requires accurate surveys. The intention of our study was to determine if historic operational aerial forest surveys accurately identified boreal old-growth forests in Quebec, Canada. We first compared stand successional stages (even-aged vs. old-growth) in two aerial surveys performed in 1968 (preindustrial aerial survey) and 2007 (modern aerial survey) on the same 2200 km(2) territory. Second, we evaluated the accuracy of the modern aerial survey by comparing its results with those of 74 field plots sampled in the study territory between 2014 and 2016. The two aerial surveys differed significantly; 80.8% of the undisturbed stands that were identified as "old-growth" in the preindustrial survey were classified as "even-aged" in the modern survey, and 60% of the stands identified as "old-growth" by field sampling were also erroneously identified as "even-aged" by the modern aerial survey. The scarcity of obvious old-growth attributes in boreal old-growth forests, as well as poorly adapted modern aerial survey criteria (i.e., criteria requiring high vertical stratification and significant changes in tree species composition along forest succession), were the main factors explaining these errors. It is therefore likely that most of Quebec's boreal old-growth forests are currently not recognized as such in forest inventories, challenging the efficacy of sustainable forest management policies. },
    DOI = { 10.1139/cjfr-2019-0177 },
    EISSN = { 1208-6037 },
    UNIQUE-ID = { ISI:000510393200008 },
}

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