Projecting boreal landcover change and implications for boreal caribou

Boreal woodland caribou populations are in decline across Canada, and forest disturbance is an important driver. To assess the implications of ongoing natural and anthropogenic disturbance processes for boreal caribou we need projections of boreal landcover change over time.

Forest management plans in Canada are generally premised on 100 year projections of forest growth, succession and harvest. These projections do not include effects of climate change, but it is possible to consider the impacts of changing fire regimes on projections derived from the inputs and outputs of operational planning models. We are combining these projections with caribou indicators and road network simulation methods to model the cumulative effects of fire and forest management on boreal caribou.