Is regulated even-aged management the right strategy for the Canadian boreal forest?
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Y. Bergeron
Publication Year: 2004

Cataloging Information

  • age classes
  • boreal forest
  • boreal forests
  • Canada
  • climate change
  • coniferous forests
  • cutting
  • distribution
  • disturbance
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • even aged management
  • fire frequency
  • fire management
  • fire regime
  • fire regimes
  • forest management
  • hardwood forests
  • old growth forests
  • old-growth forests
  • partial cutting
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 46012
Tall Timbers Record Number: 21663
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Over the past decade, there has been an increasing interest in the development of forest management approaches that are based on an understanding of historical natural disturbance dynamics. The rationale for such an approach is that management to favour landscape compositions and stand structures similar to those of natural ecosystems should also maintain biological diversity and essential ecological functions. In fire-dominated landscapes, this approach is possible only if current and future fire frequencies are sufficiently low, in comparison to pre-industrial fire frequency, that we can substitute fire with forest management. I address this question by comparing current and future fire frequency to historical reconstruction of fire frequency from studies in the Canadian boreal forest. Current and simulated future fire frequencies using 2x and 3x CO2 scenarios are lower than the historical fire frequency for most sites, suggesting that forest management could potentially be used to recreate the forest age structure of fire-controlled pre-industrial landscapes. Current even-aged management, however, tends to reduce forest variability: for example, fully regulated, even-aged management will tend to truncate the natural forest stand age distribution and eliminate overmature and old-growth forests from the landscape. The development of silvicultural techniques that maintain a spectrum of forest compositions and structures at different scales in the landscape is one avenue to maintain this variability.

Bergeron, Y. 2004. Is regulated even-aged management the right strategy for the Canadian boreal forest? Forestry Chronicle, v. 80, no. 4, p. 458-462.