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Forests 2017, 8(7), 233; doi:10.3390/f8070233

Windthrow Dynamics in Boreal Ontario: A Simulation of the Vulnerability of Several Stand Types across a Range of Wind Speeds

1
Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, University of British Columbia, 2424 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
2
Powdermill Nature Reserve, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 1795 Route 381, Rector, PA 15677, USA
3
Ontario Forest Research Institute, 1235 Queen Street East, Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 2E5, Canada
4
Faculté de foresterie, de géographie et de géomatique, Université Laval, 2405 rue de la Terrasse, Québec City, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Timothy A. Martin
Received: 12 May 2017 / Revised: 13 June 2017 / Accepted: 24 June 2017 / Published: 30 June 2017
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Abstract

In Boreal North America, management approaches inspired by the variability in natural disturbances are expected to produce more resilient forests. Wind storms are recurrent within Boreal Ontario. The objective of this study was to simulate wind damage for common Boreal forest types for regular as well as extreme wind speeds. The ForestGALES_BC windthrow prediction model was used for these simulations. Input tree-level data were derived from permanent sample plot (PSP) data provided by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. PSPs were assigned to one of nine stand types: Balsam fir-, Jack pine-, Black spruce-, and hardwood-dominated stands, and, Jack pine-, spruce-, conifer-, hardwood-, and Red and White pine-mixed species stands. Morphological and biomechanical parameters for the major tree species were obtained from the literature. At 5 m/s, predicted windthrow ranged from 0 to 20%, with damage increasing to 2 to 90% for winds of 20 m/s and to 10 to 100% for winds of 40 m/s. Windthrow varied by forest stand type, with lower vulnerability within hardwoods. This is the first study to provide such broad simulations of windthrow vulnerability data for Boreal North America, and we believe this will benefit policy decisions regarding risk management and forest planning. View Full-Text
Keywords: ForestGALES_BC; Boreal; windthrow simulation; wind damage; forest disturbance ForestGALES_BC; Boreal; windthrow simulation; wind damage; forest disturbance
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Anyomi, K.A.; Mitchell, S.J.; Perera, A.H.; Ruel, J.-C. Windthrow Dynamics in Boreal Ontario: A Simulation of the Vulnerability of Several Stand Types across a Range of Wind Speeds. Forests 2017, 8, 233.

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