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Concept Paper

Revisiting the Functional Zoning Concept under Climate Change to Expand the Portfolio of Adaptation Options

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Centre d’Enseignement et de Recherche en Foresterie de Sainte-Foy Inc. (CERFO), 2440 Chemin Sainte-Foy, Québec, QC G1V 1T2, Canada
2
Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Great Lakes Forestry Centre, Sault Ste Marie, ON P6A 2E5, Canada
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Chair of Silviculture, Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Freiburg, Tennenbacherstr. 4, 79103 Freiburg, Germany
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Département des Sciences Naturelles and Institut des Sciences de la Forêt Tempérée (ISFORT), Université du Québec en Outaouais, 58 rue Principale, Ripon, QC J0V 1V0, Canada
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Centre for Forest Research, Université du Québec à Montréal, C.P. 8888, succ. Centre-Ville, Montréal, QC H3C 3P8, Canada
6
Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, 1055, rue du P.E.P.S., C.P. 10380, succ. Sainte-Foy, QC G1V 4C7, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Juan F. Fernández-Manjarrés and Roxane Sansilvestri
Forests 2021, 12(3), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12030273
Received: 9 February 2021 / Revised: 19 February 2021 / Accepted: 22 February 2021 / Published: 26 February 2021
Climate change is threatening our ability to manage forest ecosystems sustainably. Despite strong consensus on the need for a broad portfolio of options to face this challenge, diversified management options have yet to be widely implemented. Inspired by functional zoning, a concept aimed at optimizing biodiversity conservation and wood production in multiple-use forest landscapes, we present a portfolio of management options that intersects management objectives with forest vulnerability to better address the wide range of goals inherent to forest management under climate change. Using this approach, we illustrate how different adaptation options could be implemented when faced with impacts related to climate change and its uncertainty. These options range from establishing ecological reserves in climatic refuges, where self-organizing ecological processes can result in resilient forests, to intensive plantation silviculture that could ensure a stable wood supply in an uncertain future. While adaptation measures in forests that are less vulnerable correspond to the traditional functional zoning management objectives, forests with higher vulnerability might be candidates for transformative measures as they may be more susceptible to abrupt changes in structure and composition. To illustrate how this portfolio of management options could be applied, we present a theoretical case study for the eastern boreal forest of Canada. Even if these options are supported by solid evidence, their implementation across the landscape may present some challenges and will require good communication among stakeholders and with the public. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest vulnerability; adaptive capacity; multiple-use land management; conflicting perspectives; natural processes; high-yield silviculture forest vulnerability; adaptive capacity; multiple-use land management; conflicting perspectives; natural processes; high-yield silviculture
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MDPI and ACS Style

Royer-Tardif, S.; Bauhus, J.; Doyon, F.; Nolet, P.; Thiffault, N.; Aubin, I. Revisiting the Functional Zoning Concept under Climate Change to Expand the Portfolio of Adaptation Options. Forests 2021, 12, 273. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12030273

AMA Style

Royer-Tardif S, Bauhus J, Doyon F, Nolet P, Thiffault N, Aubin I. Revisiting the Functional Zoning Concept under Climate Change to Expand the Portfolio of Adaptation Options. Forests. 2021; 12(3):273. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12030273

Chicago/Turabian Style

Royer-Tardif, Samuel, Jürgen Bauhus, Frédérik Doyon, Philippe Nolet, Nelson Thiffault, and Isabelle Aubin. 2021. "Revisiting the Functional Zoning Concept under Climate Change to Expand the Portfolio of Adaptation Options" Forests 12, no. 3: 273. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12030273

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