Living without herbicides in Québec (Canada): historical context, current strategy, research and challenges in forest vegetation management

Living without herbicides in Québec (Canada): historical context, current strategy, research and... Vegetation management is crucial to meeting the objectives of forest plantations. Following public hearing processes, chemical herbicides were banned on Crown forest lands in Québec (Canada) in 2001. Release now mainly relies on mechanical treatments. Our objectives are to review the historical context and the research conducted over the past 15 years that has led to the province’s current vegetation management strategy and to identify the major challenges of vegetation management being faced in Québec in the context of intensive silviculture and ecosystem-based management. Research has led to an integrated management model without herbicides, adapted to the ecological characteristics of reforestation sites. The Québec experience illustrates how, on most sites, vegetation management that is based on early reforestation, the use of tall planting stock and intensive mechanical release brings crop trees to the free-to-grow stage without the use of herbicides and without resulting in major effects on vegetation diversity. This vegetation management strategy is an asset in the implementation of ecosystem-based management. However, research demonstrates that mechanical release alone does not promote optimal crop-tree growth, due to rapid resprouting or suckering of competitors and competition from herbaceous species. Therefore, the current strategy poses important challenges in the management of plantations where the objective is to maximise wood production. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Journal of Forest Research Springer Journals

Living without herbicides in Québec (Canada): historical context, current strategy, research and challenges in forest vegetation management

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 by Springer-Verlag
Subject
Life Sciences; Plant Ecology; Plant Sciences ; Forestry
ISSN
1612-4669
eISSN
1612-4677
DOI
10.1007/s10342-010-0373-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Vegetation management is crucial to meeting the objectives of forest plantations. Following public hearing processes, chemical herbicides were banned on Crown forest lands in Québec (Canada) in 2001. Release now mainly relies on mechanical treatments. Our objectives are to review the historical context and the research conducted over the past 15 years that has led to the province’s current vegetation management strategy and to identify the major challenges of vegetation management being faced in Québec in the context of intensive silviculture and ecosystem-based management. Research has led to an integrated management model without herbicides, adapted to the ecological characteristics of reforestation sites. The Québec experience illustrates how, on most sites, vegetation management that is based on early reforestation, the use of tall planting stock and intensive mechanical release brings crop trees to the free-to-grow stage without the use of herbicides and without resulting in major effects on vegetation diversity. This vegetation management strategy is an asset in the implementation of ecosystem-based management. However, research demonstrates that mechanical release alone does not promote optimal crop-tree growth, due to rapid resprouting or suckering of competitors and competition from herbaceous species. Therefore, the current strategy poses important challenges in the management of plantations where the objective is to maximise wood production.

Journal

European Journal of Forest ResearchSpringer Journals

Published: Mar 16, 2010

References

  • Designing forest vegetation management strategies based on the mechanisms and dynamics of crop tree competition by neighbouring vegetation
    Balandier, P; Collet, C; Miller, JH; Reynolds, PE; Zedaker, SM

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