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Forests 2018, 9(8), 485; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9080485

Developing and Field Testing a Tool Designed to Operationalize a Multitreatment Approach in Hardwood-Dominated Stands in Eastern Canada

1
Northern Hardwoods Research Institute, 165 boul. Hébert, Edmundston, NB E3V 2S8, Canada
2
Assistant Professorship of Forest Operations, Department of Ecology and Ecosystem Management, Technical University of Munich, Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Platz 2, D-85354 Freising, Germany
3
École de Foresterie, Université de Moncton, 165 boul. Hébert, Edmundston, NB E3V 2S8, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 July 2018 / Revised: 4 August 2018 / Accepted: 7 August 2018 / Published: 9 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Abstract

Variations in species composition, diameter and height distributions, and quality make the management of hardwood-dominated stands difficult, particularly when considering mechanized forest operations. This study aimed to develop and field test a tool designed to improve the feasibility of forest operations in heterogeneous forest stands in Eastern Canada. To address inherent stand variability, a multitreatment approach was selected using conventional forest inventory (one inventory plot per hectare) and a silvicultural treatment decision key as main inputs. The Excel-based spreadsheet in combination with an ArcGIS model, referred to as the Multitreatment Planning Tool (MTPT), allowed to build operational maps identifying the type and spatial extent of silvicultural treatments to be performed. Once uploaded to positioning systems in harvesting machines, the operators were provided guidance on the silvicultural treatment to be performed and the location of the suggested machine trails. Field results obtained from nine harvest blocks (over 300 ha treated in total) showed the potential of using the MTPT until more mature and higher resolution-enhanced inventories become mainstream. Machine operators and operational managers both appreciated the straightforward and flexible method. Additional testing and refinement of the method is necessary, particularly when considering re-entry scheduling. View Full-Text
Keywords: stand variability; mechanized harvesting; machine-operating trails; decision support system; multitreatment stand variability; mechanized harvesting; machine-operating trails; decision support system; multitreatment
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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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Labelle, E.R.; Pelletier, G.; Soucy, M. Developing and Field Testing a Tool Designed to Operationalize a Multitreatment Approach in Hardwood-Dominated Stands in Eastern Canada. Forests 2018, 9, 485.

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