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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Spatial and temporal dynamics of forest disturbance: a stochastic simulation model Lessard, Robert B.


Forest systems are made up of a large number of processes interacting in complex spatial and temporal scales. Simulation can be used to study the way processes interact in space and time. A model, which approximates a system of forest growth, forest fire, bark beetle dynamics and harvesting, is constructed to observe spatial and temporal behaviour. System performance is analyzed through a sensitivity analysis of response indicators under different management regimes designed to simulate harvest and fire suppression. Variability between simulated landscapes is averaged to determine trends in model behaviour. Normalized spectral density estimates are used to detect periodicity in simulated behaviour. Harvest is found to lessen the impact of fire and beetle outbreaks whereas fire suppression is found to increase beetle populations. Periodic behaviour of beetles and forest spatial structure are found to be affected by harvest whereas fire suppression is found to be responsible for changes in periodic behaviour of live biomass.

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