Arrow IFPA Series: Note 5 of 8: Criterion1: Biological richness


  • Ralph Wells
  • Devon Haag
  • Isabelle Houde
  • Brad Seely
  • Fred L. Bunnell


biodiversity indicators, habitat elements, habitat modelling, sustainable forest managment


This extension note is the fifth in a series of eight that describes a set of tools and processes developed to support sustainable forest management planning and its pilot application in the Arrow Timber Supply Area (TSA). It summarizes the criterion and indicators used to set thresholds and evaluate potential impacts on biological diversity for the sustainable forest management (SFM) pilot basecase analysis for Lemon Landscape Unit. Initial thresholds were developed for some indicators, and measures for others, to assess the SFM basecase harvest scenario. Although this did not represent a comprehensive evaluation, preliminary results indicate that under the SFM basecase scenario, habitat attributes (e.g., snags) associated with late seral stands were met primarily in the non-harvested land base, and may be unsustainable for biodiversity objectives. Retention strategies in the harvested land base are therefore important, but could not be assessed for their potential contribution to late seral attributes because of the lack of available models.

This extension note provides both an example of how criteria and indicators can be applied to evaluate SFM scenarios, using indicators to set targets and thresholds, and a framework for evaluation. Some indicators, based on dynamic habitat elements (e.g., snags, downed wood, and understorey vegetation), require models to project these elements across a range of stand types and stand treatments. If these models are to act as effective tools, further development and refinement is required to ensure that they are calibrated and verified with field data. Our understanding of habitat thresholds also needs improvement to better define risks and appropriate management responses.