Personne : Bélanger, Louis
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Université Laval. Département des sciences du bois et de la forêt
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- PublicationAccès libreUsing naturalness for assessing the impact of forestry and protection on the quality of ecosystems in life cycle assessment(MDPI, 2021-08-08) Côté, Sylvie; Bélanger, Louis; Beauregard L., Robert; Margni, ManueleA novel approach is proposed to evaluate the impact of forestry on ecosystem quality in life cycle assessment (LCA) combining a naturalness assessment model with a species richness relationship. The approach is applied to a case study evaluating different forest management strategies involving concomitantly silvicultural scenarios (plantation only, careful logging only or the current mix of both) combined with an increasing share of protected area for wood production in a Québec black spruce forest. The naturalness index is useful to compare forest management scenarios and can help evaluate conservation needs considering the type of management foreseen for wood production. The results indicate that it is preferable to intensify forest management over a small proportion of the forest territory while ensuring strict protection over the remaining portion, compared to extensive forest management over most of the forested area. To explore naturalness introduction in LCA, a provisory curve relating the naturalness index (NI) with the potential disappeared fraction of species (PDF) was developed using species richness data from the literature. LCA impact scores in PDF for producing 1 m3 of wood might lead to consistent results with the naturalness index but the uncertainty is high while the window leading to consistent results is narrow.
- PublicationAccès libreA conceptual model for forest naturalness assessment and application in Quebec’s boreal forest(M D P I AG, 2019-04-11) Côté, Sylvie; Bélanger, Louis; Thiffault, Évelyne; Beauregard L., Robert; Margni, ManueleResearch Highlights: To inform eco-designers in green building conception, we propose a conceptual model for the assessment of the impact of using wood on the quality of ecosystems. Background and Objectives: The proposed model allows the assessment of the quality of ecosystems at the landscape level based on the condition of the forest and the proportion of different practices to characterize precisely the forest management strategy. The evaluation provides a numerical index, which corresponds to a suitable format to inform decision-making support tools, such as life cycle analysis. Materials and Methods: Based on the concept of naturalness, the methodology considers five naturalness characteristics (landscape context, forest composition, structure, dead wood, and regeneration process) and relies on forest inventory maps and data. An area within the boreal black spruce-feathermoss ecological domain of Quebec (Canada) was used as a case study for the development of the methodology, designed to be easily exportable. Results: In 2012, the test area had a near-natural class (naturalness index NI = 0.717). Simulation of different management strategies over 70 years shows that, considering 17.9% of strict protected areas, the naturalness index would have lost one to two classes of naturalness (out of five classes), depending on the strategy applied for the regeneration (0.206 ≤ ΔNI ≤ 0.413). Without the preservation of the protected areas, the management strategies would have further reduced the naturalness (0.274 ≤ ΔNI ≤ 0.492). Apart from exotic species plantation, the most sensitive variables are the percentage of area in irregular, old, and closed forests at time zero and the percentage of area in closed forests, late successional species groups, and modified wetlands after 70 years. Conclusions: Despite the necessity of further model and parameter validation, the use of the index makes it possible to combine the effects of different forestry management strategies and practices into one alteration gradient.
- PublicationAccès libreNaturalness assessment of forest management scenarios in Abies balsamea–Betula papyrifera forests(M D P I AG, 2020-05-25) Côté, Sylvie; Bélanger, Louis; Thiffault, Évelyne; Beauregard L., Robert; Margni, ManueleResearch Highlights : This research provides an application of a model assessing the naturalness of the forest ecosystem to demonstrate its capacity to assess either the deterioration or the rehabilitation of the ecosystem through different forest management scenarios. Background and Objectives: The model allows the assessment of the quality of ecosystems at the landscape level based on the condition of the forest and the proportion of different forest management practices to precisely characterize a given strategy. The present work aims to: (1) verify the capacity of the Naturalness Assessment Model to perform bi-directional assessments, allowing not only the evaluation of the deterioration of naturalness characteristics, but also its improvement related to enhanced ecological management or restoration strategies; (2) identify forest management strategies prone to improving ecosystem quality; (3) analyze the model’s capacity to summarize the effect of different practices along a single alteration gradient. Materials and Methods: The Naturalness Assessment Model was adapted to the Abies balsamea–Betula papyrifera forest of Quebec (Canada), and a naturalness assessment of two sectors with different historical management strategies was performed. Fictive forest management scenarios were evaluated using different mixes of forestry practices. The sensitivity of the reference data set used for the naturalness assessment has been evaluated by comparing the results using data from old management plans with those based on Quebec’s reference state registry. Results: The model makes it possible to identify forest management strategies capable of improving ecosystem quality compared to the current situation. The model’s most sensitive variables are regeneration process, dead wood, closed forest and cover type. Conclusions: In the Abies balsamea–Betula papyrifera forest, scenarios with enhanced protection and inclusion of irregular shelterwood cuttings could play an important role in improving ecosystem quality. Conversely, scenarios with short rotation (50 years) could lead to further degradation of the ecosystem quality