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Articles by Sylvie Gauthier

Category: Research article

article id 7791, category Research article
Tadeusz B. Splawinski, Sylvie Gauthier, Nicole J. Fenton, Daniel Houle, Yves Bergeron. (2018). The colonization of young fire initiated stands by the crustose lichen Trapeliopsis granulosa and its potential effect on conifer establishment and stand succession. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 1 article id 7791. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.7791
Highlights: T. granulosa is a poor seedbed for jack pine establishment; The presence of extensive T. granulosa cover can limit ongoing tree recruitment, thereby maintaining open lichen woodland; Dry open conditions favor the establishment of T. granulosa; Stands with significant T. granulosa cover may be good candidates for afforestation initiatives due to lower evaporation potential and decreased water stress.

The resilience of closed-crown coniferous stands within the boreal forest of North America is highly dependent on successful re-establishment of tree species following fire. A shift from closed-crown forest to open lichen woodland is possible following poor natural regeneration during the initial establishment phase, followed by the development of extensive lichen cover, which may hinder ongoing recruitment. We examined the development of the crustose lichen Trapeliopsis granulosa (Hoffm.) 18 to 21 years following fire within six sites in the boreal forest of northwestern Quebec, and explored its potential to affect ongoing recruitment during early successional stages of stand development. Germination and survivorship trials were conducted within the laboratory to determine the establishment rate of Pinus banksiana Lamb. (jack pine) on T. granulosa, mineral soil, and burnt duff under two separate watering frequencies (observed and drought). Survival and establishment rates of jack pine were highest on burnt duff, and poor on both T. granulosa and mineral soil. Under the drought treatment, no seedlings survived on any substrates. In the field, T. granulosa cover had a positive relationship with mineral soil cover, and negative relationships with duff cover, ericaceous shrub cover, organic layer depth, other lichen cover, and Sphagnum moss cover. No discernable relationship was found between T. granulosa and tree density, rock cover, dead wood cover or other moss cover. The development of extensive T. granulosa cover in fire-initiated stands can impede ongoing recruitment of conifer species due to its poor seedbed quality, thereby maintaining open forests.

  • Splawinski, Institut de recherche sur les forêts, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 445, boul. de l’Université, Rouyn-Noranda, QC, J9X 5E4, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail: tsplawinski@gmail.com (email)
  • Gauthier, Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Laurentian Forestry Centre, 1055 rue du PEPS, P.O. Box 10380, Stn Sainte Foy, QC, G1V 4C7, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail: sylvie.gauthier@rncan-nrcan.gc.ca
  • Fenton, Institut de recherche sur les forêts (IRF), Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 445 boul. de l’Université, Rouyn-Noranda, QC, J9X 5E4, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail: nicole.fenton@uqat.ca
  • Houle, Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs, Direction de la recherché forestière, Québec, QC, G1P 3W8, Canada; Ouranos Climate Change Consortium, Montréal, QC, H3A 1B9, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail: daniel.houle@mffp.gouv.qc.ca
  • Bergeron, Centre d’étude sur la forêt and Chaire industrielle en aménagement forestier durable, Université du Québec à Montréal, CP 8888 Succursale A, Montréal, QC, H3C 3P8, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail: bergeron.yves@uqam.ca
article id 77, category Research article
Annie Claude Bélisle, Sylvie Gauthier, Dominic Cyr, Yves Bergeron, Hubert Morin. (2011). Fire regime and old-growth boreal forests in central Quebec, Canada: an ecosystem management perspective. Silva Fennica vol. 45 no. 5 article id 77. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.77
Boreal forest management in Eastern Canada has caused depletion and fragmentation of old-growth ecosystems, with growing impacts on the associated biodiversity. To mitigate impacts of management while maintaining timber supplies, ecosystem management aims to narrow the gap between natural and managed landscapes. Our study describes the fire history and associated natural old-growth forest proportions and distribution of a 5000 km2 area located in the black spruce-feather moss forest of central Quebec. We reconstructed a stand-origin map using archival data, aerial photos and dendrochronology. According to survival analysis (Cox hazard model), the mean fire cycle length was 247 years for the 1734–2009 period. Age-class distribution modelling showed that old-growth forests were present on an average of 55% of the landscape over the last 275 years. The mean fire size was 10 113 ha, while most of the burned area was attributable to fires larger than 10 000 ha, leading to old-growth agglomerations of hundreds of square kilometres. In regards to our findings, we propose ecosystem management targets and strategies to preserve forest diversity and resilience.
  • Bélisle, Centre for Forest Research, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail: annieclaude_b@hotmail.com (email)
  • Gauthier, Laurentian Forestry Centre, Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada, Sainte-Foy, Québec, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Cyr, Institut Québécois d’Aménagement de la Fort Feuillue, Université du Québec en Outaouais, Ripon, Québec, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Bergeron, Centre for Forest Research, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada & NSERC-UQAT-UQAM Industrial Chair in Sustainable Forest Management, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Rouyn-Noranda, Québec, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Morin, Département des Sciences Fondamentales, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Chicoutimi, Québec, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 561, category Research article
Karen A. Harper, Yves Bergeron, Sylvie Gauthier, Pierre Drapeau. (2002). Post-fire development of canopy structure and composition in black spruce forests of Abitibi, Québec: a landscape scale study. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 1 article id 561. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.561
Fire reconstruction and forest inventory maps provided an opportunity to study changes in stand-level characteristics following fire using a data set comprised of all forest stands of fire origin in an area of over 10 000 km2. We assigned the date of the most recent fire occurrence to over 31 000 forest stands in an ecoforestry database. We categorized stands on different substrates into age classes to investigate differences in canopy composition, cover and height, and incidence of secondary disturbance. Stands with over 75% Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP dominated all age classes on organic sites. On other substrates, there was a change in canopy composition from deciduous stands and stands dominated by Pinus banksiana Lamb. to Picea mariana stands after about 100 yr. This transition was later for xeric sites. After a peak in canopy cover and height at about 100 yr, there was a decrease in the area occupied by stands with dense, tall canopies. Structural development was slower on less productive sites. There was little incidence of spruce budworm outbreaks. Partial disturbance by windthrow coincided with canopy break-up at 100 yr, but appeared to have little effect on overall canopy structure in later stages. Structural diversity was independent of compositional diversity; on organic sites, stands with similar composition had different canopy structure. Diversity of stands with different composition and structure was greatest in the first 150 yr following fire. Maintaining stands in different stages of structural development on the landscape would serve to maintain regional biodiversity.
  • Harper, Université de Québec à Montréal, Groupe de recherche en écologie forestière interuniversitaire, CP 8888, succ. A, Montréal, QC, Canada H3C 3P8 ORCID ID:E-mail: c1444@er.uqam.ca (email)
  • Bergeron, NSERC-UQAT-UQAM, Industrial Chair in sustainable forest management, CP 8888, succ. Centre-Ville, Montréal, QC, Canada H3C 3P8 ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Gauthier, Canadian Forest Service, Laurentian Forestry Centre, P.O. Box 3800, Sainte-Foy, QC, Canada G1V 4C7 ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Drapeau, Université de Québec à Montréal, Groupe de recherche en écologie forestière interuniversitaire, CP 8888, succ. A, Montréal, QC, Canada H3C 3P8 ORCID ID:E-mail:

Category: Review article

article id 72, category Review article
Ekaterina Shorohova, Daniel Kneeshaw, Timo Kuuluvainen, Sylvie Gauthier. (2011). Variability and dynamics of old-growth forests in the circumboreal zone: implications for conservation, restoration and management. Silva Fennica vol. 45 no. 5 article id 72. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.72
Due to the unprecedented loss of old-growth forests to harvesting throughout circumboreal regions an understanding of similarities and differences in old-growth dynamics is needed to design effective restoration, management and conservation efforts. This paper reviews concepts, prevalence and variability of old-growth forests across landscapes, and evaluates different stand scale dynamics at the old-growth stage across the circumboreal zone. Old-growth historically dominated many boreal forest landscapes in both Eurasia and North America. Throughout much of North America, and to some extent in western Siberia, the natural prevalence and development of old-growth forests are regulated by the occurrence of stand-replacing fires. In eastern North America and Siberia, insect outbreaks may, however, be more important. Insect outbreaks as well as recurrent non-stand replacing surface fires and windthrows, when occurring at the old-growth stage, often form stands characterized by several tree age-class cohorts. This multi age-class forest development type is common in Europe and eastern Siberia but its prevalence and importance in boreal North-America is not well documented. Similarities in successional dynamics across the circumboreal region are found in the development of mono-dominant even-aged stands, the replacement of shade intolerant tree species by shade tolerant species, as well as in all-aged stands driven by small-scale gap dynamics. The message to land managers is that the focus should not only be on setting aside remaining old-growth forests or in restoring static old-growth attributes, but also in emulating natural disturbances and successional dynamics at landscape and regional scales to maintain natural variability in old-growth attributes through time.
  • Shorohova, Saint-Petersburg State Forest University, Saint-Petersburg, Russia & Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa Research Unit, Vantaa, Finland (ekaterina.shorohova@metla.fi) ORCID ID:E-mail: shorohova@ES13334.spb.edu (email)
  • Kneeshaw, Université du Québec à Montréal, Centre d’étude de la forêt, Montreal, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Kuuluvainen, University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences, Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Gauthier, Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Laurentian Forestry Centre, Québec, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 411, category Review article
Arthur Groot, Sylvie Gauthier, Yves Bergeron. (2004). Stand dynamics modelling approaches for multicohort management of eastern Canadian boreal forests. Silva Fennica vol. 38 no. 4 article id 411. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.411
The objective of this paper is to discuss approaches and issues related to modelling stand dynamics for multi-cohort forest management in eastern Canadian boreal forests. In these forests, the interval between wildfires can be rather long, and the development of natural forest stands may include the establishment, growth and mortality of several cohorts of trees. Later cohorts are characterised by increasing structural complexity, including spatial heterogeneity and irregular tree size distribution. A multi-cohort forest management framework has been proposed to maintain this complexity, and associated biodiversity, on the landscape. Multi-cohort forest management planning requires forecasts of the development of stands with complex structure in response to silvicultural treatment and to natural disturbance, but current stand dynamics models in the region are applicable mainly to even-aged mono-specific stands. Possible modelling approaches for complex stands include i) the adaptation of current whole-stand growth and yield models, ii) distance-independent, empirically-derived individual-tree models, such as the USDA Forest Service Forest Vegetation Simulator, and iii) distance-dependent, empirically-derived or process-oriented individual-tree models. We conclude that individual-tree models are needed because observational data for fitting whole-stand models are not available for the full array of silvicultural treatments and natural disturbances encompassed by multi-cohort forest management. Predictive accuracy is a concern with individual-tree models, and the incorporation of coarse-scale constraints into these models is a promising means to control error.
  • Groot, Great Lakes Forestry Centre, Canadian Forest Service, 1219 Queen St. E., Sault Ste. Marie, ON, P6A 2E5, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail: agroot@nrcan.gc.ca (email)
  • Gauthier, Laurentian Forestry Centre, Canadian Forest Service, 1055 du P.E.P.S., P.O. Box 3800, Sainte-Foy, QC, G1V 4C7, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Bergeron, University of Quebec at Abitibi-Temiscamingue, 445 Boul de l’Université, Rouyn-Noranda, QC, J9X 5E4, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 553, category Review article
Yves Bergeron, Alain Leduc, Brian D. Harvey, Sylvie Gauthier. (2002). Natural fire regime: a guide for sustainable management of the Canadian boreal forest. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 1 article id 553. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.553
The combination of certain features of fire disturbance, notably fire frequency, size and severity, may be used to characterize the disturbance regime in any region of the boreal forest. As some consequences of fire resemble the effects of industrial forest harvesting, conventional forest management is often considered as a disturbance that has effects similar to those of natural disturbances. Although the analogy between forest management and fire disturbance in boreal ecosystems has some merit, it is important to recognise that it also has its limitations. Short fire cycles generally described for boreal ecosystems do not appear to be universal; rather, important spatial and temporal variations have been observed in Canada. These variations in the fire cycle have an important influence on forest composition and structure at the landscape and regional levels. Size and severity of fires also show a large range of variability. In regions where the natural matrix of the boreal forest remains relatively intact, maintenance of this natural variability should be targeted by forest managers concerned with biodiversity conservation. Current forest management tends to reduce this variability: for example, fully regulated, even-aged management will tend to truncate the natural forest age distribution and eliminate over-mature and old-growth forests from the landscape. We suggest that the development of strategic-level forest management planning approaches and silvicultural techniques designed to maintain a spectrum of forest compositions and structures at different scales in the landscape is one avenue to maintain this variability. Although we use the boreal forest of Quebec for our examples, it is possible to apply the approach to those portions of the boreal forest where the fire regime favours the development of even-aged stands in burns.
  • Bergeron, NSERC-UQAT-UQAM Industrial Chair in Sustainable Forest Management, C.P. 8888, Succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3C 3P8 ORCID ID:E-mail: bergeron.yves@uqam.ca (email)
  • Leduc, NSERC-UQAT-UQAM Industrial Chair in Sustainable Forest Management, C.P. 8888, Succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3C 3P8 ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Harvey, NSERC-UQAT-UQAM Industrial Chair in Sustainable Forest Management, C.P. 8888, Succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3C 3P8 ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Gauthier, NSERC-UQAT-UQAM Industrial Chair in Sustainable Forest Management, C.P. 8888, Succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3C 3P8 ORCID ID:E-mail:

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