FRIP Abstracts

MW-01-053
FMF Grizzly Bear Research
Sponsor:
Foothills Model Forest
Lead Researcher:
Gordon Stenhouse, Foothills Model Forest, Hinton, Alberta
In 1999, the Foothills Model Forest (FMF) initiated an international, co-operative, multidisciplinary grizzly bear research program. The primary goal of the six-year program was to provide knowledge and planning tools to land and resource managers to ensure the long-term conservation of grizzly bears in Alberta. An important outcome of this program is the development of tools and techniques that address landscape level conservation issues, a component critical to the successful management of grizzly bear populations throughout Alberta and North America. The FMF Grizzly Bear Project has completed its first phase. The five years of intensive research has resulted in significant findings for both land and wildlife management, and the creation of important new management tools.

In the second phase of the FMF Grizzly Bear Project, researchers pursued two primary objectives: to provide grizzly bear habitat maps, probability of grizzly bear occurrence maps, and bear travel corridor maps for grizzly bear population units in Alberta; and to increase understanding of grizzly bear health, specifically body condition and reproductive health parameters, as these relate to landscape and environmental parameters.

The Foothills Model Forest Grizzly Bear Research Program 1999-2003 Final Report is divided into chapters that provide the technical detail of the findings for each research component. A full listing of technical papers is available on the FMF website at ww.fmf.ab.ca.
MW-01-060
Physiological and Growth Responses of White Spruce to Applications of Glyphosate
Sponsor:
Millar Western Forest Products Ltd.
Lead Researcher:
Milo Mihajlovich, Incremental Forest Technologies Ltd., Edmonton, Alberta
The principle objective of this project was to correlate herbicide injury to white spruce growth and survival, and develop shoot lignification as a diagnostic tool to predict the tolerance of conifer seedlings to herbicide application.

The project consisted of two research trials coordinated by Millar Western on behalf of six Alberta forest companies. The Ontario Forest Research Institute explored phenological indicators of herbicide resistance in spruce seedlings. In a laboratory setting, five phenological indicators were examined including bud development, stem lignification, stem color, needle cuticular transpiration, and needle wax concentration. The second trial was a field trial aimed at correlating herbicide injury to white spruce to growth. The field trial sought to address two questions: does glyphosate injury vary with seedling age and planting location of white spruce seedlings and how quickly do white spruce seedlings recover from various levels of glyphosate injury? Field trials were conducted near Grande Prairie, Whitecourt and Manning. At each site, herbicide was applied in mid-July, early August and early September.

The phenological indicators examined provided promising results and an understanding of natural variability in the indicators in spruce plantations where environmental factors such as nutrients, moisture, and light may affect timing of budset and subsequent development of tissues resistant to herbicide absorption. At each of the field trials, the application of herbicide resulted in negligible crop tree injury. It was therefore not possible to assess the impact of glyphosate injury on white spruce seedlings.
MW-01-068
Integrating Fire into Forest Management
Sponsor:
Millar Western Forest Products Ltd.
Lead Researcher:
K.G. Hirsch and W.J. de Groot, Canadian Forest Service, Northern Forestry Centre, Edmonton, Alberta
This report contains information that will allow Millar Western to begin the process of incorporating fire into their detailed Forest Management Plan (FMP).

This report consists of four sections: an overview of fire history and fire environment of the Millar Western’s Forest Management Agreement (FMA) area, evaluation of the fire component of LANDIS, a landscape level simulation model, a review of the fundamental principles and concepts necessary for incorporating fire into timber supply modeling, and a series of actions that can be taken to integrate fire into strategic and operational forest management.

The report provides procedures and information to understand and assess the historic role and potential impact of fire in Millar Western’s FMA. The information can be used in the development of Millar Western’s detailed FMP, and is intended to serve as a guide for forest companies and organizations that seek to integrate fire management and forest management.
MW-01-069
Climate: Status Assessment Report
Sponsor:
Millar Western Forest Products Ltd.
Lead Researcher:
Corey De La Mare and John Beckingham, Geographics Dynamics Corporation, Edmonton, Alberta
The purpose of this report was to determine the amount and availability of climate data for Millar Western’s Forest Management Agreement (FMA) area and conduct analysis of the climate data to determine the differences among the subregions occurring within the FMA.

Monthly and daily meteorological data was obtained from the Atmospheric Environment Service of Environment Canada. The data was analyzed to compare the climate variances of the four natural subregions of the FMA.

The climatic isolines developed for the FMA illustrate a surface relationship for temperature, precipitation, and growing degree-days, all of which have implications to productivity, fire, and future monitoring requirements.
MW-01-070
Soil Status Assessment Report
Sponsor:
Millar Western Forest Products Ltd.
Lead Researcher:
Colin Moody, Geographic Dynamics Corporation, Edmonton, Alberta
The objective of this report was to identify composition, status, and management implications of forest soils in Millar Western’s Forest Management Agreement (FMA) area.

A literature review determined that soil compaction and surface erosion have the greatest impact on soil quality and site productivity. Data sources used to develop both the soil compaction hazard rating and erosion potential model included soil survey reports (soil series, parent material, soil orders, texture), digital elevation models (DEM), ecosite field guides, and climate data. The soil surveys reports, DEM data and climate data were pre-existing products, however the ecosite map of the FMA had to be developed using SiteLogix™. The resulting soil compaction hazard rating is based on ecosite, soil texture, and stoniness. The model for surface erosion potential used a modified version of the Universal Soil Loss equation (USLE). The soil erosion potential model is a function of rainfall intensity, soil erosivity and topography.

Formulas and maps for both soil compaction hazard and soil erosion potential were generated for the Millar Western FMA.
MW-01-071
Hydrologic Impacts of Forest Harvesting on Water Yield and Peak Flows
Sponsor:
Millar Western Forest Products Ltd.
Lead Researcher:
Watertight Solutions, Edmonton, Alberta
The purpose of this project was to evaluate the impact of forest harvesting on water flows in Millar Western Forest Products Forest Management Agreement (FMA) area.

Hydrologic simulations of forest harvesting effects on water flows were carried out on three watersheds within the FMA, ranging in size from 73 to 221 km2. Three timber harvesting scenarios were evaluated in the simulations. The “business as usual” (BAU) scenario represented current harvest planning. The second scenario, “enhanced timber production” (ETP), maximized fiber recovery. The third scenario, “balanced silviculture intensity” (BSI), represented the balance between timber production and its impact on the forest. Harvest scheduling was carried out using ComPlan and hydrologic simulations using the WRENSS procedure.

Results of the simulations demonstrated annual water yield increases of 11% to 26% following harvesting. Maximum annual increases coincided or lagged slightly behind the period of maximum harvesting. The water yield increases declined steadily following the end of harvesting. The water yield increases in the BAU and BSI scenario simulations were smaller than those in the ETP scenario simulations, however the simulated increases in all three scenarios’ peak flows following harvesting were small as well as the estimated frequency of the flow events after harvesting. The Water Management Division of Alberta Environment Protection suggests that a 15% increase in annual water yield will not produce any significant changes in peak flow magnitudes or volumes. While the guideline provides a benchmark, there is need for more rational and effective guidelines or indices to gauge the impacts of forest harvesting on water yield and peak flow.
MW-01-074
Breaking Lodgepole Pine Stagnation: Understanding Biological Processes and Evaluating Management Tools
Sponsor:
Millar Western Forest Products Ltd.
Lead Researcher:
Jim Stewart, Canadian Forest Service, Edmonton, Alberta
The study examines the physiological basis for stagnation and the growth response to release in high-density, fire-origin lodgepole pine stands by investigating the role of nitrogen in the physiology of photosynthesis and growth in suppressed lodgepole pine stands. This study has resulted in the development of a process model relating growth to physiological processes and efficiency of nitrogen use.

Study sites were located in stagnating lodgepole pine stands originating in 1956 burns in north-central Alberta. The Windfall burn, northwest of Whitecourt was thinned in May 1995. The sites located within the Gregg burn, south of Hinton were fertilized with 400 kg/ha N in fall 1998. Tree and physiological measurements were collected at each site following treatment.

It appears that the ability of individual trees to capture adequate amounts of nitrogen to support photosynthetic and growth activities is a key process, and the total nitrogen pool of the site is of less importance. Intraspecific competition within the stand, and the processes by which that competition is played out, are likely to be key determinants of stand productivity. The efficiency with which stands utilize nitrogen was found to be an important factor in nitrogen economy. Not only do the fastest growing trees have more nitrogen in their crowns, they also appear to use it more efficiently than the slower growing trees. Thinning treatments appear to be having the desired effect of reducing intraspecific competition for site nutrients and allowing greater needle mass to be supported on the remaining trees. Fertilization could provide similar responses by increasing site resources rather than reducing the number of individuals competing for those resources. In both treatments the amount of resources per individual tree increases and ultimately, needle mass and growth increase. A model relating net carbon assimilation for whole tree crowns, in treated and untreated stands of differing productivity, to physiological process, morphology and gross crown structure was developed using Microsoft Excel.
MW-01-075
Biotic Values Assessment Program
Sponsor:
Millar Western Forest Products Ltd.
Lead Researcher:
Various Authors
The Biotic Values Assessment Program was initiated by Millar Western as part of a plan to protect biotic values in their Whitecourt Forest Management Agreement area. The program produced the following sub-reports: Aquatic Resources, Forest Genetic Resources and Tree Improvement, Rare and Endangered Plants, Important Plant Communities, and Wildlife Species of Concern. The primary purpose of the program was to identify current populations and suggest monitoring methods.

The sub-reports serve to identify pertinent populations, identify data gaps and suggest monitoring programs to address the gaps in data. The data and recommendations of each sub-report may be used to develop a plan aimed to preserve key biotic values.
MWI-01-016
Constraints on Crown Development in Boreal Conifers
Sponsor:
Millar Western Forest Products Ltd.
Lead Researcher:
Victor Lieffers, University of Alberta, Edmonton
The objective of this research was to provide a better understanding of the dynamics of forest canopy development through the mechanisms that limit or constrain leaf area within trees, and canopy development within forests. Numerous forest companies operating in western Alberta contributed to the project, which took place between 1997 and 2002.The project focused on providing answers to seven questions. The questions and findings are presented below:More detailed results of the project are presented as reports, and published articles.
MWI-01-017
NCE Funding (1998–2002)
Sponsor:
Millar Western Forest Products Ltd.
Lead Researcher:
Richard Krygier, Millar Western, Whitecourt, Alberta
Established in 1995, the Sustainable Forest Management Network (SFMN) is an incorporated, non-profit Canadian Research Network of Centres of Excellence based at the University of Alberta, Edmonton. The SFMN supports interdisciplinary, university-based research that addresses issues related to sustainable forest management in the boreal forest. The program is divided into three Research Legacies: Understanding Disturbance, Strategies for Sustainable Forest Management and Impact Minimization. The research projects focus on the development of strategies and institutions to achieve each Legacy. The SFMN is funded by the Government of Canada, provincial governments, forestry companies, aboriginal groups, a non-governmental organization, the University of Alberta, and the BIOCAP Canada Foundation. Funds are allocated to research projects based on a peer-review process.

Program details, funding partners, and current projects can be found on the SFMN website at http://sfm1.biology.ualberta.ca/english/home/index.htm.

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