Intégration de la caractérisation de la sévérité du feu dans les outils d'aménagement écosystémique en forêt boréale

Authors: Boucher, Jonathan
Advisor: Bauce, ÉricHébert, Christian
Abstract: Each year in the boreal forest, wildfires generate large amounts of dead trees in Quebec. Considered a potential loss of revenue for the economy, the government asks that a part of those trees is salvaged. This is also a practice experiencing a rising trend worldwide. On the other hand, post-fire salvage logging is governed by various constraints, concerning both the profitability of operations and compliance with the standards of the forest ecosystem management (FEM) aiming at conserving the biodiversity associated with burned forests. The implementation of FEM requires knowledge on the impact that fire has on the forest in a spatially explicit manner. In this light, we first evaluated on site burn severity for 60 study sites distributed accross 5 burns. We then assessed the ability of the differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR), a remote sensing method developed by US researchers to estimate burn severity, at providing an accurate representation of the terrain conditions. The positive results of this step allowed us to consider the dNBR improve management tools of burned forests. From the viewpoint of the profitability of salvage logging, we then evaluated the density of Monochamus spp. (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) attacks, which constitute an important source of quality degradation of wood and incidentally their value. The knowledge acquired on the ecology of Monochamus spp. and established models predict the levels of these insects attacks based on tree species, stem diameter and burn severity (dNBR). Thirdly, following part of the FEM, we sought to identify high conservation value stands for biodiversity, using saproxylic beetles as an indicator group, and key variables that are tree species and diameter, as well as burn severity (dNBR). This allowed us to identify six groups of ecologically related species, of which, we identified three groups having a strong association with the burned habitat. Since these three groups contain species associated to burns, that are linked to habitats often salvaged such as jack pine and large diameters, they may be adversely affected by salvage logging. The results of our work, by using a spectral index of burn severity (dNBR) in management tools, make possible the optimization of post-fire salvage logging, from both the economic and conservation points of view, in compliance with the FEM.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2016
Open Access Date: 23 April 2018
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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