Forest Investment Account

Abstract of FIA Project 4027005

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Describing old-growth forests in the boreal foothills natural disturbance unit

Author(s): MacKillop, Deb J.; Holt, Rachel F.
Imprint: B.C. : Canadian Forest Products, Ltd., 2003
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA), Old Growth Forests, British Columbia
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program - Innovative


Old growth forests are an important element of biodiversity conservation. They provide habitat for many native species, are more structurally, functionally and biologically diverse than younger stands, contain trees that are older and larger than expected patterns for the species, and, due to their relatively old age, are not easily or quickly replaced. Thus, it is important to inventory, manage and conserve old-growth forests. Developing quantitative, ecosystem-specific definitions is an essential first step towards this process. In this project, we sampled old-growth associated structural attributes in 27 stands in the Boreal Foothills Natural Disturbance Unit. Sample sites were located in the SBSwk2, ESSFmv2 and ESSFwk2 and ranged in age from 96 - 470 years old. We sampled tree, snag, and coarse woody debris attributes. The overall goals of the project were: 1) To determine which easily assessed structural features are consistently associated with older forests in the Boreal Foothills Natural Disturbance Unit. 2) To devise an index of 'old-growthness' based on multiple structural attributes, for use in field assessments of older forest stands. 3) To provide suggestions for old growth management in forests of the Boreal Foothills NDU.
Deb MacKillop and Rachel F. Holt

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Updated August 02, 2006 

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