Development of climate sensitive growth functions for western North America’s boreal tree species - Year two

The Mixedwood Growth Model (MGM) is used by forest managers in estimating growth and yield outcomes for common boreal tree species in North America. MGM has been shown to effectively model both managed and unmanaged stands in Alberta and surrounding regions. Currently, climate effects are not accounted for in growth functions used in MGM. Recent work for black spruce has shown that there is need to understand and model the effect of climate for other boreal tree species including white spruce, aspen, balsam poplar, lodgepole pine and jack pine.

Development of climate sensitive growth functions for western North America’s boreal tree species

The Mixedwood Growth Model (MGM) is used by forest managers in estimating growth and yield outcomes for common boreal tree species in North America. MGM has been shown to effectively model both managed and unmanaged stands in Alberta and surrounding regions. Currently, climate effects are not accounted for in growth functions used in MGM. Recent work for black spruce has shown that there is need to understand and model the effect of climate for other boreal tree species including white spruce, aspen, balsam poplar, lodgepole pine and jack pine.

Testing Erosion Prediction Tools in the Simonette River Watershed, Northern Alberta

This project aims to provide real-world, verifiable estimates of impacts to watersheds from usage of back-country logging and resource roads. fRI in partnership with the University of Alberta, MiTACS and Canfor is testing computer-based tools developed in the United States to apply them to watersheds in Alberta. Given the different geography, soil types, and relief in Alberta, these tools may need to be refined to reflect the unique conditions present in our foothills natural region.

Developing a Carbon Strategy for Publicly Held Canadian Forest Products Company

The objectives are to determine to what extent a carbon strategy can add to the value of a publicly held Canadian forest products firm, what form that would take, and what conditions would be required to implement. The project will begin with an environmental scan of economic, technological, political]legal, and societal trends that are occurring in the broader context. The focus will then be turned to identify the opportunities available and the company's core competencies (strengths) to take advantage of these opportunities.

Quantifying the Responses of Songbirds and Woodpeckers to Changes in Habitat at the Stand and Landscape Scales: Testing for Thresholds and Setting Management Targets

How do species respond to changes in habitat, and can their responses be used to set reliable management targets? The intern’s research is focused on determining whether forest birds respond non-linearly to the loss of forest habitat due to logging. For example, theoretical models show that the probability of finding forest birds within a given patch of forest declines sharply when less than 30% of forest cover remains in the patch. A point of sharp decline in a graph of a particular response to habitat loss is referred to as a 'critical threshold' or 'habitat threshold'.