The current Mountain Pine Beetle (MPB) outbreak is the most severe and widespread in modern times. Forest managers are being severely challenged to mitigate potentially negative socio-economic and biological impacts of timber salvage operations of MPB devastated stands. What are the short term and longer term ramifications of various forest management options to landscape biodiversity and to timber supply? In order to maintain and enhance biological diversity and forest productivity in the post-MPB era pine stands, we require the following information from these stands: ? Ecological changes to, and value of, unique stand features affecting biodiversity, including wildlife trees, coarse woody debris characteristics and dynamics of unsalvaged and burned unsalvaged MPB stands; ? Forest succession trajectories in unmanaged and burned MPB stands, including forest regeneration and non-crop vegetation dynamics; ? Timber supply implications of leaving MBP stands untreated, including regeneration delay and growth and yield effects; ? Ecological and timber supply benefits of burning unsalvaged MPB stands; and ? Changes in lichen abundance and rate of tree fall as they impact caribou habitat quality. In order to answer these questions we propose to establish 50 research plots for long-term monitoring in MBP-killed pine stands. Thirty of these will be mesic unharvested stands, stratified by climatic zone. Ten plots will be randomly placed in each of three climatic subzones (variants): SBSdk, SBSdw3 and SBSmc3. In addition, ten plots will be established in subxeric SBSdk or SBSdw3 or SBSmc3 stands to track changes in lichen dynamics and availability in MPB stands. A further 10 plots in the SBSdw2 and SBSdk, will be established to compare unharvested and burned unharvested stands Within the monitoring plots we will record baseline measurements on: tree layer mensuration, wildlife trees, coarse woody debris (CWD), vegetation, and dendrochronology. Data collection will be completed according to established research standards. Four main baseline datasets will be generated and recorded in MS Excel. These include: stand structure, CWD, (non-crop) vegetation, and dendrochronology. All plots will be re-sampled yearly until 2010 and will be available, funding permitting, for remeasurement at subsequent 5 year intervals. All data will be analyzed to detect changes over time in order to examine trends and calibrate existing stand growth and yield and stand development models, utilizing appropriate computer programs for statistical analysis and the simulation of stand dynamics. Extension objectives are to establish baseline plots upon which further research can be built, to illustrate the early stages of post-MPB stand dynamics in different zones through field tours, and to present preliminary results which will increase awareness and solicit feedback from researchers and forest managers. Extension objectives will be met through two workshops, written proceedings, a Northern Interior Forest Region (NIFR) extension note, a briefing note published in 'Link' (Forrex?s quarterly newsletter) and entering project data into the Natural Resource Information Network (NRIN).
DeLong, Craig. 2006. A Framework for Documenting the Effects of the Mountain Pine Beetle Outbreak in Sub-Boreal Forests of Northern BC: workplan. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2006MR120