Advertisement

Landscape Ecology

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 159–174 | Cite as

Climate change will affect the ability of forest management to reduce gaps between current and presettlement forest composition in southeastern Canada

  • Yan BoulangerEmail author
  • Dominique Arseneault
  • Yan Boucher
  • Sylvie Gauthier
  • Dominic Cyr
  • Anthony R. Taylor
  • David T. Price
  • Sébastien Dupuis
Research Article

Abstract

Context

Forest landscapes at the boreal–temperate ecotone have been extensively altered. Reducing the gap between current and presettlement forest conditions through ecosystem-based forest management (EBFM) is thought to enhance ecological integrity. However, climate change may interfere with this goal and make these targets unrealistic.

Objectives

We evaluated the impacts of climate change on the ability of EBFM to reduce discrepancies between current and presettlement forest conditions in southeastern Canada.

Methods

We used early-land-survey data as well as projections from a forest landscape model (LANDIS-II) under four climate change scenarios and four management scenarios to evaluate future discrepancies between presettlement forest conditions and future forest landscapes.

Results

By triggering swift declines in most late-succession boreal conifer species biomass, climate change would greatly reduce the ability of forest management to reduce the gap with presettlement forest composition, especially under severe anthropogenic climate forcing. Scenarios assuming extensive clearcutting also favor aggressive competitor species that have already increased with high historical harvest levels (e.g., poplars, maples).

Conclusions

EBFM would still be the “less bad” forest harvesting strategy in order to mitigate composition discrepancies with the presettlement forests, though it is likely to fail under severe climate forcing. In this latter case, one might thus question the relevancy of using presettlement forest composition as a target for restoring degraded forest landscapes. As such, we advocate that managers should relax the centrality of the reference condition and focus on functional restoration rather than aiming at reducing the gaps with presettlement forest composition per se.

Keywords

Mixedwood forest Northern hardwood forests Climate change LANDIS-II Presettlement forests Sustainable forest management 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank G. Fortin, R. Terrail, A. deRomer, M. Leroyer for constructing the presettlement forest composition database. This research was funded by the Forest Change project of the Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada.

Supplementary material

10980_2018_761_MOESM1_ESM.docx (2.9 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 3471 kb)

References

  1. Abrams MD (1998) The red maple paradox: what explains the widespread expansion of red maple in eastern forests? Bioscience 48:355–364CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Agee JK (2003) Historical range of variability in eastern Cascades forests, Washington, USA. Landscape Ecol 18:725–740CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson MJ (2001) A new method for non-parametric multivariate analysis of variance. Austr Ecol 26:32–46Google Scholar
  4. Arora VK, Boer GJ (2010) Uncertainties in the 20th century carbon budget associated with land use change. Glob Change Biol 16:3327–3348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beaudoin A, Bernier PY, Guindon L, Villemaire P, Guo XJ, Stinson G, Bergeron T, Magnussen S, Hall RJ (2014) Mapping attributes of Canada’s forests at moderate resolution through kNN and MODIS imagery. Can J For Res 44:521–532CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bergeron JF, Saucier JP, Robert D, Robitalle A (1992) Québec forest ecological classification program. For Chron 68:53–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bergeron Y, Cyr D, Drever CR, Flannigan M, Gauthier S, Kneeshaw D, Lauzon E, Leduc A, Le Goff H, Lesieur D, Logan K (2006) Past, current, and future fire frequencies in Quebec’s commercial forests: implications for the cumulative effects of harvesting and fire on age-class structure and natural disturbance-based management. Can J For Res 36:2737–2744CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Boucher Y, Arseneault D, Sirois L (2009a) Logging history (1820–2000) of a heavily exploited southern boreal forest landscape: insights from sunken logs and forestry maps. For Ecol Manag 258:1359–1368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Boucher Y, Arseneault D, Sirois L, Blais L (2009b) Logging pattern and landscape changes over the last century at the boreal and deciduous forest transition in Eastern Canada. Lands Ecol 24:171–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Boucher Y, Grondin P, Auger I (2014) Land use history (1840–2005) and physiography as determinants of southern boreal forests. Landscape Ecol 29:437–450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Boucher Y, Perrault-Hébert M, Fournier R, Drapeau P, Auger I (2017) Cumulative patterns of logging and fire (1940–2009): consequences on the structure of the eastern Canadian boreal forest. Landscape Ecol 32:361–375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Boulanger Y, Arseneault D, Morin H, Jardon Y, Bertrand P, Dagneau C (2012) Dendrochronological reconstruction of spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana Clem.) outbreaks in southern Québec for the last 400 years. Can J For Res 42:1264–1276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Boulanger Y, Gauthier S, Burton PJ (2014) A refinement of models projecting future Canadian fire regimes using homogeneous fire regime zones. Can J For Res 44:365–376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Boulanger Y, Taylor A, Price DT, Cyr D, McGarrigle E, Rammer W, Sainte-Marie G, Beaudoin A, Guindon L, Mansuy N (2016) Climate change impacts on forest landscapes along the Canadian southern boreal forest transition zone. Landscape Ecol 32:1415–1431CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Boulanger Y, Taylor A, Price DT, Cyr D, Sainte-Marie G (2017) Stand-level drivers most important in determining boreal forest response to climate change. J Ecol 106:977–990CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Brandt JP, Flannigan MD, Maynard DG, Thompson ID, Volney WJA (2013) An introduction to Canada’s boreal zone: ecosystem processes, health, sustainability, and environmental issues. Environ Rev 21:207–226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Brisson J, Bouchard A (2003) In the past two centuries, human activities have caused major changes in the tree species composition of southern Québec, Canada. Écoscience 10:236–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Burns RM, Honkala BH (1990) Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods. Agriculture Handbook 654. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  19. Centre for Land and Biological Resources Research (1996) Soil Landscapes of Canada, v.2.2. Research Branch, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, OttawaGoogle Scholar
  20. Cogbill CV, Burk J, Motzkin G (2002) The forests of presettlement New England, USA: spatial and compositional patterns based on town proprietor surveys. J Biogeogr 29:1279–1304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Danneyrolles V, Arseneault D, Bergeron Y (2016a) Pre-industrial landscape composition patterns and post-industrial changes at the temperate–boreal forest interface in western Quebec, Canada. J Veg Sci 27:470–481CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Danneyrolles V, Arseneault D, Bergeron Y (2016b) Long-term compositional changes following partial disturbance revealed by the resurvey of logging concession limits in the northern temperate forest of eastern Canada. Can J For Res 46:943–949CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Duchesne L, Ouimet R (2008) Popultion dynamics of tree species in southern Quebec, Canada. For Ecol Manag 255:3001–3012CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Dumroese RK, Williams MI, Stanturf JA, St Clair JB (2015) Considerations for restoring temperate forests of tomorrow: forest restoration, assisted migration, and bioengineering. New Forest 46:947–964CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Dupuis S, Arseneault D, Sirois L (2011) Change from presettlement to present-day forest composition reconstructed from early land-survey records in eastern Quebec, Canada. J Veg Sci 22:564–575CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Duveneck MJ, Scheller RM (2015a) Measuring and managing resistance and resilience under climate change in northern Great Lake forests (USA). Landscape Ecol.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-015-0273-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Duveneck MJ, Scheller RM (2015b) Climate-suitable planting as a strategy for maintaining forest productivity and functional diversity. Ecol Appl 25:1653–1668CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Duveneck MJ, Scheller RM, White MA, Handler SD, Ravenscroft C (2014) Climate change effects on northern Great Lake (USA) forests: a case for preserving diversity. Ecosphere 5:23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Duveneck MJ, Thompson JR, Gustafson EJ, Liang Y, de Bruijn AMG (2017) Recovery dynamics and climate change effects to future New England forests. Landscape Ecol 32:1385–1397CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Evans P, Brown CD (2017) The boreal-temperate forest ecotone response to climate change. Environ Rev 25:423–431CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Falk DA (2017) Restoration ecology, resilience, and the axes of change. Ann Miss Bot Garden 102:201–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Fisichelli NA, Frelich LE, Reich PB (2014) Temperate tree expansion into adjacent boreal forest patches facilitated by warmer temperatures. Ecography 37:152–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Frelich LE (2002) Forest dynamics and disturbance regimes. Studies from temperate evergreen-deciduous forests. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Gauthier S, Bernier PY, Boulanger Y, Guo J, Guindon L, Beaudoin A, Boucher D (2015) Vulnerability of timber supply to projected changes in fire regime in Canada’s managed forests. Can J For Res 45:1439–1447CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Girardin MP, Hogg EH, Bernier PY, Kurz WA, Guo X, Cyr G (2015) Negative impacts of high temperatures on growth of black spruce forests intensify with the anticipated climate warming. Glob Change Biol 22:627–643CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Gustafson EJ, Shifley SR, Mladenoff DJ, Nimerfro KK, He HS (2000) Spatial simulation of forest succession and timber harvesting using LANDIS. Can J For Res 30:32–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hennigar CR, MacLean DA, Quiring DT, Kershaw JA Jr (2008) Differences in spruce budworm defoliation among balsam fir and white, red, and black spruce. For Sci 54:158–166Google Scholar
  38. Hof AR, Dymond CC, Mladenoff DJ (2017) Climate change mitigation through adaptation: the effectiveness of forest diversification by novel tree planting regimes. Ecosphere 8:e01981CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Huang JG, Bergeron Y, Berninger F, Zhai L, Tardif JC, Denneler B (2013) Impact of future climate on radial growth of four major boreal tree species in the eastern Canadian boreal forest. PLoS ONE 8:e56758CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  40. Landhäusser SM, Wan X, Lieffers VJ, Chow PS (2010) Nitrate stimulates root suckering in trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides). Can J For Res 40:1962–1969CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Landres PB, Morgan P, Swanson FJ (1999) Overview of the use of natural variability concepts in managing ecological systems. Ecol Appl 9:1179–1188Google Scholar
  42. Lexer MJ, Hönninger K (2001) A modified 3D-patch model for spatially explicit simulation of vegetation composition in heterogeneous landscapes. For Ecol Manag 144:43–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Lorimer CG (1977) The presettlement forest and natural disturbance cycle of northeastern Maine. Ecology 58:139–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Mansuy N, Thiffault E, Paré D, Bernier P, Guindon L, Villemaire P, Poirier V, Beaudoin A (2014) Digital mapping of soil properties in Canadian managed forests at 250 m of resolution using the k-nearest neighbor method. Geoderma 235–236:59–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. McKenney D, Pedlar J, Hutchinson M, Papadopol P, Lawrence K, Campbell K, Milewska E, Hopkinson RF, Price D (2013) Spatial climate models for Canada’s forestry community. For Chron 89:659–663CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Millar CI (2014) Historic variability: informing restoration strategies, not prescribing targets. J Sustain For 33:S28–S42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Millar CI, Stephenson NL, Stephens SL (2007) Climate change and forests of the future: managing in the face of uncertainty. Ecol Appl 17:2145–2151CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Nowacki GJ, Abrams MD (2014) Is climate an important driver of post-European vegetation change in the Eastern United States? Glob Change Biol 21:314–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Oksanen J, Blanchette GF, Friendly M, Kindt R, Legendre P, McGlinn D, Minchin PR, Simpson GL, Solymos P, Stevens MHH, Szoecs E, Wagner H (2017) vegan: Community Ecology package v 2.5-2. https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=vegan. Accessed 18 Dec 2018
  50. Payette S, Pilon V, Couillard PL, Laflamme J (2017) Fire history of Appalachian forests of the Lower St-Lawrence region (Southern Quebec). Forests 8:120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Pedlar JH, McKenney DW, Aubin I, Beardmore T, Beaulieu J, Iversion L, O’Neill GA, Winder RS, Ste-Marie C (2012) Placing forestry in the assisted migration debate. Bioscience 62:835–842CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Perring MP, De Frenne P, Baeten L, Maes SL, De Pauw L, Blondeel H, Caron MM, Verheyen K (2016) Global environmental change effects on ecosystems: the importance of land-use legacies. Glob Change Biol 22:1361–1371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Price DT, Cooke BJ, Metsaranta JM, Kurz WA (2015) If forest dynamics in Canada’s west are driven mainly by competition, why did they change? Half-century evidence says: climate change. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 112:E4340CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. R Core Team (2016) R: a language and environment for statistical computing R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria https://www.R-project.org/. Accessed 29 June 2018
  55. Ravenscroft C, Scheller RM, Mladenoff DJ, White MA (2010) Forest restoration in a mixed-ownership landscape under climate change. Ecol Appl 20:327–346CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Régnière J, St-Amant R, Duval P (2012) Predicting insect distributions under climate change from ecophysiological responses: spruce budworm as an example. Biol Inv 14:1571–1586CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Reich PB, Sendall KM, Rice K, Rich RL, Stefanski A, Hobbie SE, Montgomery RA (2015) Geographic range predicts photosynthetic and growth response to warming in co-occurring tree species. Nature Clim Change 5:148–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Robitaille A, Saucier JP (1998) Paysages régionaux du Québec méridional. Publications du Québec, Sainte-Foy, QCGoogle Scholar
  59. Sabogal C, Besacier C, McGuire D (2015) Forest landscape restoration: concepts, approaches and challenges for implementation. Unasylva 245:3–10Google Scholar
  60. Scheller RM, Mladenoff DJ (2004) A forest growth and biomass module for a landscape simulation model, LANDIS: design, validation, and application. Ecol Model 180:211–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Scheller RM, Mladenoff DJ (2008) Simulated effects of climate change, fragmentation, and inter-specific competition on tree species migration in northern Wisconsin, USA. Clim Res 36:191–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Scheller RM, Domingo JB, Sturtevant BR, Williams JS, Rudy A, Gustafson EJ, Mladenoff DJ (2007) Design, development, and application of LANDIS-II, a spatial landscape simulation model with flexible spatial and temporal resolution. Ecol Model 201:409–419CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Stanturf JA, Palik BJ, Dumroese RK (2014) Contemporary forest restoration: a review enphasizing function. For Ecol Manag 331:292–323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Steenberg JWN, Duinker PN, Bush PG (2013) Modelling the effects of climate change and timber harvest on the forests of central Nova Scotia, Canada. Ann For Sci 70:61–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Strahan RT, Sanchez Meador AJ, Huffman DW, Laughlin DC (2016) Shifts in community-level traits and functional diversity in a mixed conifer forest: legacy of land-use change. J Appl Ecol 53:1755–1765CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Sturtevant BR, Gustafson EJ, Li W, He HS (2004) Modeling biological disturbances in LANDIS: a module description and demonstration using spruce budworm. Ecol Model 180:153–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Taylor AR, Boulanger Y, Price DT, Cyr D, McGarrigle E, Rammer W, Kershaw JA (2017) Rapid 21st century climate change projected to shift composition and growth of Canada’s Acadian Forest Region. For Ecol Manag 405:284–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Terrail R, Arseneault D, Fortin MJ, Dupuis S, Boucher Y (2014) An early forest inventory indicates a high accuracy of forest composition data in early land-survey records. J Veg Sci 25:691–702CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Vaillancourt MA, Gauthier S, Kneeshaw D, Bergeron Y (2009) Implementation of ecosystem management in boreal forests: examples from eastern Canada. Sustainable Forest Management Network, Edmonton, ABGoogle Scholar
  70. van Vuuren DP, Edmonds J, Kainuma M, Riahi K, Thomson A, Hibbard K, Hurtt GC, Kram T, Krey V, Lamarque JF, Masui T, Meinhausen M, Nakicenovic N, Smith SJ, Rose SK (2011) The representative concentration pathways: an overview. Clim Change 109:5–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Van Wagner CE (1987) Development and structure of the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index System. Forestry Technical Report 35. Canadian Forestry Service, Ottawa, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  72. Wang WJ, He HS, Thompson FR, Fraser JS, Dijak WD (2016) Changes in forest biomass and tree species distribution under climate change in the northeastern United States. Landscape Ecol 32:1399–1413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Wilson BT, Lister AJ, Riemann RI (2012) A nearest-neighbor imputation approach to mapping tree species over large areas using forest inventory plots and moderate resolution raster data. For Ecol Manag 271:182–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Yousefpour R, Jacobsen JB, Meilby H, Thorsen BJ (2014) Knowledge update in adaptive management of forest resources under climate change: a Bayesian simulation approach. Ann For Sci 71:301–312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Yousefpour R, Temperli C, Jacobsen JB, Thorsen BJ, Meilby H, Lexer MJ, Lindner M, Bugmann H, Borges JG, Palma JHN, Ray D, Zimmermann NE, Delzon S, Kremer A, Kramer K, Reyer CPO, Lasch-Born P, Garcia-Gonzalo J, Hanewinkel M (2017) A framework for modeling adaptive forest management and decision making under climate change. Ecol Soc 22:40CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Crown 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laurentian Forestry Centre, Canadian Forest ServiceNatural Resources CanadaQuébecCanada
  2. 2.Université du Québec à RimouskiRimouskiCanada
  3. 3.Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et de ParcsQuébecCanada
  4. 4.Atlantic Forestry Centre, Canadian Forest ServiceNatural Resources CanadaFrederictonCanada
  5. 5.Northern Forestry Centre, Canadian Forest ServiceNatural Resources CanadaEdmontonCanada

Personalised recommendations