For 31 years I have been developing ecosystem management simulation models as decision support systems (DSSs). At the ecosystem level rather than the population or community levels, these models have the ability to address multiple values and environmental services, natural and management-induced ecosystem disturbance, and the implications of climate change for ecosystem processes, structures and values. The non-spatial ecosystem management model FORECAST is used internationally, and by forest and energy companies and government agencies in the three western Canadian provinces. Starting 5 years ago, we have worked to extend this model to a spatial local landscape version in the model LLEMS (Local Landscape Ecosystem Management Simulator) funded by FRDA, FRBC, NSERC (Discovery and CRD grants) and INTERFOR. What is FORECAST? It is a stand-level, non-spatial, ecosystem management model, derived from the earlier FORCYTE model (Kimmins 1985, 1986, 1992; Kimmins et al. 1990, 1999, Messier et al. 2003, Seely et al. 1999, 2004). It has the capability of representing a wide range of management activities and natural disturbance agents. FORECAST can be used to project tree and minor vegetation biomass by biomass component, and tree dbh and total and merchantable volume; tree and minor vegetation height (for trees, the heights and dbh distributions of trees in tree lists); shading profiles, carbon budgets, soil fertility and nutrient dynamics; soil organic matter; snags and CWD. In recognition of the importance of wildlife as an SFM value, we investigated adding a generic, user-defined wildlife habitat supply module to FORECAST (Goodinson, MSc 2000), and concluded that assessment of habitat values at the stand level can be significantly compromised by the type, condition and habitat values of the surrounding ecosystems (i.e. the landscape context of the stand in question; Turner 1989; Andrén 1994; Carey et al. 1997; Serrouya and D?Eon 2004). More recently, we continued our work to develop a generalized habitat suitability sub-model for FORECAST (Simons, MSc 2005) with the intention of linking this to LLEMS so that the implications of landscape context for stand-level habitat values can be investigated. In this proposal we wish to complete the linkage of this sub-model to FORECAST, and extend the sub-model to LLEMS. What is LLEMS? - The LLEMS modelling framework was constructed using a common raster-based GIS platform to facilitate the linkage of series of existing models (see below). This ecologically based, spatially explicit, decision-support tool enables the user to explore the long-term consequences of the implementation of a wide variety of cutblock shapes, orientations, and variable retention strategies for a series of economic, ecological, and social (e.g. visual) indicators of SFM. The modelling framework operates at a spatial scale of an intermediate to large size cutblock or group of cutblocks (up to 5000 ha in size). Growth within LLEMS is ultimately driven at the pixel or pixel-group level (with a minimum resolution of 10m x 10m) based on a modified version of the FORECAST model. The focus of the principal components of the LLEMS framework includes: the simulation of forest growth and development, the visual management interface and tools for exporting model output to visualization systems, and the evaluation of windthrow risk associated with different cutblock designs. The present capabilities of the model include a representation of the effects of forest edges on natural regeneration patterns, light availability, and resource partitioning between species. Model performance is currently being evaluated on a series of test sites with Interfor as the industry partner. The visual management interface designed specifically for LLEMS by the Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning lab at UBC allows the user to explore the target area in real time and to select areas within the larger area using a mouse. Onc ...
Seely, Brad A., Kimmins, J.P. (Hamish); Scoullar, Kim. 2008. Incorporation of wildlife habitat capability into the multi-value, spatially-explicit, complex cutblock ecosystem management model LLEMS. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2008MR127
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: Forest, Investment, Account, (FIA), British, Columbia
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