The long-term future of the forest industry on the BC coast depends in part on the productivity of the region's forests and on the choice of silviculturally sound and cost-effective management regimes. Intensive silviculture is considered an important part of the Coast Recovery Strategy. Reliable projections of the results of possible alternative combinations of silvicultural practices are essential for realistic evaluation of forestry investments and for intelligent choices among management regimes. Needed are reliable estimates of response to silvicultural treatments and management regimes, understanding of how product quality and value are influenced by these treatments and regimes, and methods for designing regimes that will produce high yields of wood with desirable properties. The cost of establishing and maintaining a long-term research experiment on the scale necessary to build an adequate regional database to achieve this, are beyond the capabilities of any single organization.
The Stand Management Co-operative (SMC) is a multi-agency growth and yield co-operative established in 1985 formed to create a pool of funding, scientific talent, and long term continuity needed to assess the effects of intensive silviculture. The mission is met through a cooperative effort of land owners, processors, research agencies, and universities. The main objective is to provide a continuing source of consistent, high-quality data on the effects of stand management practices on stand growth and yield, tree growth and yield, wood quality and product recovery through the design, establishment and maintenance of a regional program of integrated research on various aspects of intensive stand management.
Although there have been a considerable number of studies on the effects on initial spacing, pre-commercial thinning and commercial thinning, a number of problems with these studies limit their usefulness (SMC, 1985). These studies generally do not have a wide range of tree spacing, have had density control treatments after prolonged competition and resulting crown reduction, and effects have not been followed over the life of the stand. Measurements are often inconsistent among studies, and there are few sets of comparable data that span a wide range of sites, geographical areas, and density control treatments. Studies have rarely included any examination of the effects of silvicultural treatment regimes on wood properties and value.
Based on these observations, the SMC developed their experimental design to permit effective and operationally practical answers to stand management issues. The basic design considerations were: The data was to be applicable for inferring and predicting treatment response over the entire coastal Douglas-fir region, rather than to an individual location; installations were designed for long-term monitoring over a complete rotation; plot sizes had to be large enough so that over the entire period of observation, the number of trees was sufficient to provide reasonable estimates of diameter distributions, to allow a wide range of thinning treatments, and to allow mortality of individual or small groups of trees without greatly influencing plot values; plots were surrounded with adequate size, similarly treated buffers to avoid influence of adjacent stands and treatments; the resulting plot values could be considered a reasonable approximation to results obtainable on an area of operationally treatable sizes.
SMC currently measures and maintains 92 active research installations that are Type 1 (juvenile spacing), II (commercial thinning), or III (espacement) installations and in cooperation with the Northwest Tree Improvement Cooperative, the Type IV (genetic gain by spacing by vegetation control). New to the SMC are the Type V (fertilization studies). Each of the SMC installations is a group of permanent sample plots, forming part of the designed experiment, which is established, based on statistical princi
de Montigny, Louise . 2010. Stand Management and Forest Productivity. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: Forest, Investment, Account, (FIA), British, Columbia
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