Research results provide important new guidance for ecological forestry in Eastern and Central Canada

    New book for forest practitioners to be pre-launched, changes in logging
    practices recommended

    QUEBEC CITY, Sept. 18 /CNW Telbec/ - The results from research projects
led by Québec researcher Dr. Sylvie Gauthier and a large team of scientists
from across Canada are providing important new guidance for the ways in which
tree harvesting can be used to effectively mimic natural forest disturbances.
Following the recommendations of Québec's Coulombe Commission, which called
for more ecologically-sensitive forest practices, researchers of the
Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) Network are filling gaps in knowledge
about how fire, insects, and other natural disturbances affect Canadian
forests. They are finding that by changing logging practices, forestry
companies can create conditions similar to natural disturbances as a way to
preserve forest biodiversity.
    Here are some selected research highlights:

    - The area of old-growth boreal forest has decreased as a result of
      current forestry practices and policy. However, alternative forest
      practices can be used to recreate old-growth forest conditions and
      decrease the potential loss of forest biodiversity.

    - Mimicking forest fire patterns is one way foresters can incorporate
      ecological patterns into their forest management. One approach has
      foresters calculating the area of forest that historically would burn
      annually. By controlling any natural forest fires, it is possible to
      harvest that equivalent area, replacing the proportion of territory
      that would have burned under a historical forest fire pattern. This
      system should be complemented with old-growth forest conservation

    - Tree growth and soil health can be improved after a forest fire. For
      example, the growth of some black spruce forests tends to slow down
      over time due to build-up of organic matter on top of the soil. Forest
      fires usually burn this organic layer, releasing nutrients into the
      tree and soil. Current logging practices often do not disturb this
      thick organic layer and may actually reduce new tree seedling growth.
      The researchers suggest various alternative techniques, including for
      example, controlled burning to disturb the soil surface.

    These and other findings will be discussed at a SFM Network workshop at
the Carrefour Conference on Forestry Research - Room 206 B, Québec Congress
Centre, Quebec City on September 19, 2007, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Among the
organizations whose research will be featured include: Abitibi-Bowater,
Tembec, Louisiana Pacific, and the Québec provincial government. Following
this workshop, at 5:00 p.m., there will be a pre-launch of a new book for
forest practitioners on ecosystem-based management edited by Dr. Sylvie

    Media are invited to attend the workshop and book pre-launch. Interview
    and photo opportunities will be available. SFM Network Conference Link:

    About The Sustainable Forest Management Network

    The Sustainable Forest Management Network, a Network of Centres of
Excellence (NCE), facilitates collaborative, applied research partnerships
among 30 industry, government, Aboriginal, and non-government partners in
supporting the work of 196 researchers. Their research efforts are
accomplished thanks to more than 300 highly qualified personnel working at
38 participating institutions across Canada. The Network's objective is to
bring all these partners together to explore the foundations of sustainable
forest management using the best available knowledge by considering the three
dimensions of sustainability (ecological, economic and social, including
scientific and traditional ecological knowledge).

For further information:

For further information: Anne Godbout, SFM Network, (514) 398-8697,; Dr. Sylvie Gauthier, Natural Resources Canada,
Canadian Forest Service, (418) 648-5829,

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