Early stand-level assessment of forest harvesting in western boreal peatlands
Locky, David A.
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Highlights • In Canada’s boreal region, wooded peatlands comprised of bogs, fens, and conifer swamps make up a significant component of the forest land base and many have marketable-size trees. • In parts of eastern Canada’s boreal region logging of marketable trees in peatlands is common. Since the 1980s protocols have been developed to protect advance growth and minimize site disturbance. Logging of marketable trees in peatlands is uncommon in western Canada, and consequently there is comparatively little research on the effects to peatlands in the west. • Results from an early (1-12 years) stand level assessment of timber harvest in Manitoba wooded fens have revealed impacts similar to those observed in northern Ontario nutrient-rich peatlands. These impacts include nutrient flushes, water table increases, loss of hummocks, and peat abrasion from wind and sun. • Further research in Canada’s western boreal peatlands is required to determine if early stand level impacts of forest harvesting are long-term, if impacts are comparable between nutrient-poor and nutrient rich peatland types, and between the western and eastern boreal regions.