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Silviculture Treatments for Ecosystem Management in the Sayward (STEMS): Establishment and Progress Report for STEMS 3, Gray Lake

Author(s) or contact(s): L. de Montigny, R. Eriksen, V. Strimbu, D. Goldie, and T. Hooper
Source: Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Subject: Silvicultural Systems
Series: Technical Report
Other details: Published 2018. Hardcopy is available.


Silviculture Treatments for Ecosystem Management in the Sayward (STEMS) is a large-scale, multi-disciplinary experiment that compares forest productivity, economics, and public perception of seven silvicultural systems and treatment regimes that have been replicated at three sites in the Sayward Forest. The STEMS experiment creates diversity in forest structure that results in a variety of canopy layers (vertical structure) and spatial patchiness (horizontal structure) in order to enhance biodiversity and wildlife habitat. The seven silvicultural systems and treatment regimes include: extended rotation (untreated control), extended rotation with commercial thinning, group selection, modified patch cut, aggregated retention, uniform dispersed retention, and clearcut with reserves. These regimes create a range of gap sizes and frequencies that emulate natural variation in forest structure.

This technical report describes the establishment and 6-year results of the third replication of STEMS in 2008 near Gray Lake. Ongoing studies at STEMS 3 include the following: tree growth and stand development of residual trees and planted and natural regeneration; windthrow, mortality, and coarse woody debris recruitment; harvesting production and effects of residual tree damage and soil disturbance (in partnership with FPInnovations). The results of this experiment will be used to improve forest management and policies because results can be directly interpreted operationally due to the large-scale, replicated experimental design. The information will be especially relevant for forests with multiple-use objectives.

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Updated April 17, 2018