Ecosystem Management by Emulating Natural Disturbance (EMEND)
Canadian Forest Products Ltd.
Lead Researcher: 
J. Spence PhD, University of Alberta, Edmonton
The overall objectives of the EMEND project were as follows:
1) To determine which forest harvest and regenerative practices best maintain biotic communities, spatial patterns of forest structure, functional ecosystem integrity in comparison with mixed-wood landscapes that have originated through wildfire and other inherent natural disturbances; and
2) To employ economic and social analyses to evaluate these practices in terms of economic viability, sustainability and social acceptability.These objectives are to be achieved through the large-scale harvest-silviculture experiment or approached through modeling based on the experimental results.

The EMEND research study site is located in the Clear Hills Upland, Lower Foothills Ecoregion of Alberta, approximately 90km north-west of Peace River. The site area is characteristic of the boreal mixedwood plains. The research effort presently involves over 30 researchers and 15 graduate students from six Universities (University of Alberta, University of Calgary, University of British Columbia, University of Minnesota, University of Lethbridge, Laval University), FERIC and both provincial (ARC) and federal (CFS) research units. This multi-year project began in 1997. The final analysis is anticipated in 60 – 80 years.The main research components for the EMEND study are:
1) Arthropod Diversity 2) Avian Diversity 3) Small mammals 4) Vegetation 5) Mycology 6) Productivity 7) Silviculture 8) Fire Ecology 9) Hydrology and Microclimate 10) Soils and Nutrient Cycling 11) Harvesting Cost Analysis 12) Socio-economics and 13) Genetics.

For reports and additional information on the EMEND project visit the website at