Applying Resilience Concepts in Forest Management: A Retrospective Simulation Approach

Dymond, C. et al. | Forests | 2015 | Peer Reviewed | Original research |


Increasing the resilience of ecological and sociological systems has been proposed as an option to adapt to changing future climatic conditions. However, few studies test the applicability of those strategies to forest management. This paper uses a real forest health incident to assess the ability of forest management strategies to affect ecological and economic resilience of the forest. Two landscape scale strategies are compared to business as usual management for their ability to increase resilience to a climate-change induced mountain pine beetle outbreak in the Kamloops Timber Supply Area, British Columbia, Canada for the period 1980 to 2060. Proactive management to reduce high risk species while maintaining or increasing diversity through reforestation was found to be more resilient in terms of the metrics: post-disturbance growing stock, improved volume and stability of timber flow, and net revenue. However, landscape-scale indicators of diversity were little affected by management. Our results were robust to uncertainty in tree growth rates and timber value and show that adapting to climate change through improving the resilience of forested landscapes is an economically viable option.