The research aims at better understanding of disturbance and successional dynamics in boreal forests to provide the ecological basis for successful restoration and management of forest biodiversity. For this we develop and use a simulation model for forest landscape disturbance, succession and management (FIN-LANDIS).
The modelling project started with modification of the original LANDIS model (developed by D.J. Mladenoff, Madison, USA) to suit the Finnish conditions, and to satisfy the needs of the project. A literature survey on forest dynamics and modelling was made for model development and model evaluation. In addition, tools were developed for parameterisation of the model and for processing the model input and output. Large parts of the original model code written in C++ were rewritten. Among other things, the changes facilitate realistic simulation of tree regeneration and development on uneven-aged stands during post-fire succession as well as use of variable assumptions about the behaviour of fire disturbances. Capacity for using processed satellite images and GIS data of Forest and Park Service as model input was developed. First applications of the model were started using GIS data of Ulvinsalo Nature Reserve as model input, aiming at better understanding of historical fire regimes and forest development in the area. The simulation model developed will provide a strategic-level tool for forest landscape and biodiversity management. This will help in elucidating long-term management objectives to maintain dynamic biodiversity-fostering processes that change over large spatial and temporal scales.
Timo Kuuluvainen Project Coordinator and Docent University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Ecology P.O. Box 24 FIN-00014 University of Helsinki