A new LANDIS-II module to study the effects of roads on forest landscapes

May 2, 2019
Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Chicoutimi, Québec

LANDIS-II is a spatially explicit model to simulate the evolution of a forest landscape represented by a raster. Each cell in it represents a piece of the surface of it, and the LANDIS-II user can choose from different extensions in order to represent processes that impact the plant succession of the landscape forests.

Currently, the existing extensions make it possible to model forest fires, biological epidemics, chablis, and the effect of logging on wood harvesting. However, the goal of the LANDIS-II Foundation, which is responsible for the development of the model, is more ambitious: interested researchers are explicitly invited to develop new extensions thanks to a structure that allows extensions to be easily grafted onto the “heart” of the model.

It is in this context that our research project fits in, which aims to explore the effects of equitable and inequal forest management methods on large spatial and temporal scales. The more extensive uneven-aged forest management methods are currently presented by many researchers as an important alternative to the even-aged methods, but the impacts of their use have not yet been considered on a large scale.

To distinguish the effects of these methods at the landscape scale, however, we must take into account a process that has, to our knowledge, never been modeled in such a context: the construction of forest paths necessary for access to stands. To this end, we have started the development of a new extension for LANDIS-II. This extension will simulate the development and maintenance of a network of forest paths in a landscaped landscape, and the costs and effects associated with these paths. We will combine the use of this module with different forest management scenarios, in order to observe how the use of the Equian and Inequian methods influence the quantity and structure of paths in the landscape.

Clément Hardy
Clément Hardy
PhD student in forest ecology

Clément is a PhD student working on forest ecology, forest management, spatially explicit modelling and functional connectivity. He’s also interested in history, ethics, productivity tools, video-games and photography.