Ecosystem management in paludified
boreal forests: enhancing wood production,
biodiversity, and carbon sequestration at
the landscape level.
Benoît Lafleur, Nicole J. Fenton, Martin Simard, Alain Leduc, David Paré, Osvaldo Valeria, Yves Bergeron.
Canada’s boreal forest represents an important contributor of the world’s wood supply industry. However, maintaining or increasing productivity of the boreal forest may be challenging in areas dominated by forested peatlands. Moreover, sustainable management of these forests must also consider other important aspects of the forest ecosystem such as biodiversity and carbon sequestration. To address these concerns, ecosystem-based management has been implemented in some Canadian jurisdictions, such as in regions where a large portion of the boreal forest is dominated by forested peatlands. The objectives of this paper are (1) to summarize our current understanding of how natural disturbances influence stand dynamics and biodiversity in forested peatlands, and (2) to review the main differences between natural and managed forest stands with respect to soil properties, stand productivity, understory plant communities. We also discuss how even-age management regime succeeds or fails to preserve old forests and how this loss affects both forest structure and habitat diversity at the landscape level. We conclude by showing how, in boreal forested peatlands, forest management could contribute to carbon sequestration and mitigate projected climate change.