Cariboo Forest Region: Part 2 of 3 Vegetation Complex Stand Establishment Decision Aids


  • Kathie Swift
  • Jennifer Turner



operation silviculture management, competing vegetation, forest health practices, science knowledge limit biology hazard resource, ecosystem, subzone, seri problem species concern complex growing treatment, autecology, dry shrub, fireweed, mixed hardwood, wet alder, Kathie Swift, Jennifer Turner


Over the last four years, the Early Stand Dynamics program of FORREX–Forest Research Extension Partnership has assessed the information needs of the operational silvicultural community. This process has identified a number of issues relating to management of competing vegetation, forest health, silvicultural systems, and best practices. Besides information needs, members of the silvicultural community also expressed concern about the loss of their experiential knowledge.

These operational concerns prompted the initiation of an extension project to fill in the identified information gaps and document local knowledge. Competing vegetation and forest health were selected as the first subject areas on which to focus effort. Information relating to these two subject areas was collected, synthesized, and presented in an easy-to-use format. The resulting product was then presented to both the operational and scientific communities for their review and input.

The extension product generated by this process was called a “Stand Establishment Decision Aid” (SEDA). SEDAs are designed to provide information on the biological features that new and inexperienced practitioners need to consider when making silvicultural decisions about site limiting factors, such as competing vegetation or forest health. These decision aids are not intended to make the decisions for the practitioners. We currently base these decision aids on the Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification (BEC) system. A description of this system is available on-line at:

The SEDAs for the Cariboo Forest Region will be published as a three-part series. The first two sections of the vegetation complex SEDAs identify specific species of concern that are found within the particular vegetation complex, and the geographic location of the complex in the forest region. The third section provides a treatment necessity rating system that identifies the specific biogeoclimatic zone, subzone, and site series where the vegetation complex can potentially be considered a problem. The fourth section outlines some possible silvicultural considerations that affect the species growing within this complex. These considerations could be used to develop a vegetation management strategy, if one is required. The fifth section provides information on some of the important autecological characteristics of the species occurring within this complex, followed by information on what roles and functions these species play in the ecosystem. We recognize vegetation community response is a function of many factors (e.g., type and intensity of disturbance); therefore, the vegetation complex SEDAs conclude with a resource section outlining where more information can be located. Reference material that is not available on-line can be ordered through the Queen�s Printer at:

Although these decision aids currently identify the problem first, rather than the particular ecosystem in which the problem occurs, we intend to develop a product that focuses on the ecosystem (subzone and site series) and ecosystem-specific problems. This extension product will be presented as part of a compendium of limiting factors in the Cariboo Forest Region, and is currently under development.