Forest Investment Account

Abstract of FIA Project 1017006

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Natural Disturbance Type (NDT): Draft management guidelines

Author(s): DWB Forestry Services Ltd.
Imprint: B. C.: Lignum Ltd., 2003
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA), Fire Ecology, British Columbia
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program - Innovative

Abstract

In January 2003 the Natural Disturbance Type (NDT) research which Lignum has amassed for their Innovative Forest Practices Agreement (IFPA) area was reviewed to provide draft management guidelines from an operational perspective, which would consider targets and values in the context of their historic Range of Natural Variability (RNV). The SBS/SBPS and IDF BEC sub-zones were included in this review. These areas were discussed in the context of the Chilcotin area versus the East Fraser area. Three general topics were assessed and compared to current practices: Fire cycle and the resulting seral distribution, disturbance patch sizes, and residual structure. For the sub-boreal sub-zones it was found that fire cycles were strongly influenced by climatic conditions and were generally shorter than those recommended by the Biodiversity Guidebook (1995), suggesting that the targets the current Biodiversity Conservation Strategy (1996) was based on may be conservative. This result in the Chilcotin area is less clear due to a mixed severity fire regime. Disturbance patch sizes indicated by the research existed in a size/frequency distribution that had more area in large fires (>1000 ha) than guidance from the Biodiversity Guidebook (1995) suggests. This is particularly true of the East Fraser area in Biogeoclimatic sub-zones considered to have Douglas-fir throughout. Stand level residual structure is a direct result of fire severity and is highly variable, existing on a continuum that decreases in amount from drier to wetter Biogeoclimatic sub-zones. At the landscape level, residual structure existing in patches is more prominent in wetter sub-zones. The IDF portion of the IFPA area is a more structurally complex landscape than the sub-boreal landscape. Research data for the IDF was less precise. The same three general topics were addressed for the IDF area. Fire cycle was found to be largely irrelevant for considering seral distribution as the mixed severity fire regime resulted in numerous fires that were not stand initiating. Further research is recommended which may verify the proportions of the landscape that existed in pine or Douglas-fir dominated stands, what patch sizes these forests existed in and what an appropriate seral distribution might be. Residual structure was assessed for pine dominated, mixed, and Douglas-fir dominated forests. Retention guidelines were developed for each of these forests based on the research findings and knowledge of the fire regimes. A structural definition of 'old' forest as well as a stem distribution of the historic old forest would be central to managing the mixed and Douglas-fir dominated forest types.
DWB Forestry Services Ltd.


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Updated August 02, 2006 

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