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    Forest management planners must develop strategies to produce timber in ways that do not compromise ecological integrity or sustainability. These strategies often involve modifications to the spatial and temporal scheduling of harvest activities, and these strategies may interact in unexpected ways. We used a timber harvest simulator (HARVEST 6.0) to determine the sensitivity of landscape pattern to the interactions among three strategic parameters: adjacency constraints, spatial dispersion, and size of harvest units. Adjacency constraints reduced the ability of HARVEST to meet cutting targets by up to 70%, depending on other parameters used, while spatial dispersion had a minimal effect. Adjacency constraints had little effect on patch size except when harvests were clustered. Adjacency constraints increased variability in the amount of forest interior and edge, but had a marginal effect on the total amount. Mean patch size decreased even though the mean size of new patches was greater than the initial mean size, because many small remnant patches were created when harvests did not completely fill some existing stands. A clustered spatial dispersion increased the amount of forest interior habitat. Our description of the intuitive interface of HARVEST 6.0 also shows that HARVEST has advanced from being strictly a research tool to a strategic management planning tool.

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    Gustafson, Eric J.; Rasmussen, Luke V. 2002. Assessing the spatial implications of interactions among strategic forest management options using a Windows-based harvest simulator. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 33:179-196.


    Forest management planning, landscape ecology, spatial pattern, forest interior habitat, edge habitat, simulation model

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