Forests in Canada
Section 3 Glossary

Age class: an age range classification used to distinguish one group of trees from another by predominant tree age. Twenty years is a common age class interval for forest inventories.

Biodiversity (or biological diversity): "the variability among living species from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine, and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems."Note 1

Bolt: a short log, cut to length.

Broadleaf species: deciduous trees such as poplar, birch, maple, classified as angiosperms and collectively known as hardwoods.

Census subdivision (CSD): the general term for municipalities (as determined by provincial/territorial legislation) or areas treated as municipal equivalents for statistical purposes (e.g., Indian reserves, Indian settlements and unorganized territories).

Commercial thinning: a thinning or cut made in an immature stand to accelerate the growth of remaining trees. The harvested material is then used for commercial purposes e.g., fence posts or poles.

Chemical management: the use of fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides to promote tree growth and maintain healthy forest stands.

Clearcutting: the removal of essentially all the trees from an area of forest land in a single cut, allowing for the development of a new age class.

Coniferous species: cone-bearing trees with needles or scales, classified as gymnosperms. These species include spruce, pine, fir, hemlock, cedar, larch and others and are also collectively known as softwoods.

Cutblock: a specified forest area authorized for harvesting that has defined boundaries.

Defoliator: a leaf-eating insect.

Deforestation: the clearing of forests to make way for new, non-forest land uses. It excludes forest harvesting when it is not a land use change, such as when forests are harvested and then replanted or allowed to regenerate naturally.

Direct seeding: an artificial forest regeneration method where a known amount of seeds are applied directly to the land.

Disturbance: a force such as a fire, earthquake or flood that causes significant changes in the natural environment.

Ecozone: an area of the earth's surface representative of large and very generalized ecological units characterized by interactive and adjusting abiotic and biotic factors.

Endangered: a species that is facing extirpation (disappearance from a geographic area) or extinction if the factors threatening them continue to operate.

Even-aged: a forest stand consisting generally of one (or sometimes two) age class of trees of a similar height with a single canopy.

Forest: defined by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) as "land spanning more than 0.5 hectares with trees higher than 5 metres and a canopy cover of more than 10% or trees able to reach these thresholds in situ. It does not include land that is predominantly under agricultural or urban land use."Note 2 Forest may include treed areas and non-treed areas (e.g., areas that have recently been harvested and that are temporarily unstocked).

Forest management: a system of practices for stewardship and use of forest land aimed at fulfilling relevant ecological (including biological diversity), economic and social functions of the forest in a sustainable manner.

Forest sector: includes the following North American Industry Classification (NAICS) codes: 113 – forestry and logging; 1153 – support activities for forestry and logging (e.g., forest conservation services, forest fire fighting services, forestry maintenance, log hauling, pest control and timber cruising and valuation); 321 – wood product manufacturing and 322 – paper manufacturing.

Land cover: refers to the observed physical and biological surface of the earth and includes biotic (living, such as vegetation) and abiotic (non-living, such as rocks) surfaces. For example, tree cover, grassland, shrubland, cropland, barren land, built-up, wetland and open water are some typical land cover classes. Land cover is usually determined using aerial or satellite imagery.

Land use: describes the economic and social functions of land to meet human demands—how people are using land. For example, typical land use classes might include settlements, agricultural land, recreational areas or forest management areas. Land use can impact the natural environment and therefore may result in changes in land cover. Many land use classifications use land cover to describe natural and semi-natural vegetation, land use to describe agricultural and urban areas and a combination of the two to describe forests.Note 3

Managed forest: a forest that is managed according to a forest management plan using the theories and practices of forestry.

Mixedwood: forest type of intermingled deciduous and coniferous trees.

Natural capital: The natural environment as the source of material resources and environmental services that are necessary for economic activity and human well-being. Also known as natural wealth. Natural capital includes land, natural resources, ecosystems and ecosystem goods and services.

Non-timber forest products: products of biological origin other than timber that are derived from forests. The range of products may include nuts, berries, mushrooms, ornamentals, medicinal products, foliage, game animals, fur-bearers and others, but excludes timber products. Note that differences exist in terminology—the Non-Timber Forest Products Network of Canada focuses on botanical and mycological resources.Note 4 The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations uses the term "Non-wood forest products" and defines this term as goods of a biological origin other than wood that are derived from forests, other wood land and trees outside forests.

Other land: land that is not classified as forest or other wooded land according to the FAO definitions. Includes agricultural land, built-up areas and barrenland.

Other land with tree cover: according to the FAO definition, it is predominantly agricultural or built-up land that has patches of tree cover over 0.5 hectares, with a canopy cover of more than 10% and trees able to reach a height of 5 metres at maturity.

Other wooded land: land not defined as forest according to the FAO definition, but that covers more than 0.5 hectares and that has "trees higher than 5 m and a canopy cover of 5% to 10%, or trees able to reach these thresholds, or with a combined cover of shrubs, bushes and trees above 10%. It does not include land that is predominantly under agricultural or urban land use."Note 5

Prescribed burning: the knowledgeable and controlled application of fire on designated areas of land to achieve forest management objectives.

Protected areas: According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), protected areas are: "a clearly defined geographical space, recognised, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values."Note 6

Riparian: situated on the bank of a river or other water body. A riparian forest is the forest land along the banks of rivers, streams or other water bodies.

Roundwood: sections of trees stems, with or without bark and without branches, stumps and tops. It includes industrial roundwood (i.e. logs and bolts, pulpwood and other industrial roundwood) as well as fuelwood and firewood.

Seed tree harvesting: an even-aged silviculture system where all trees are removed except for a supply that is left as seed for natural regeneration, either as individual trees or in small groups. Once regeneration has been established, seed trees are often removed.

Selection harvesting: an uneven-aged silviculture system where mature or unhealthy trees are removed individually or in small groups. The process is continually repeated to promote regeneration and maintain an un-even stand.

Shelterwood harvesting: an even-aged silviculture system where trees are removed in stages—two or more cuttings. This creates an overstorey of trees to protect, or shelter, the regrowth of the new stand.

Silviculture: the art and science of controlling the creation, growth, composition, health, and quality of forest stands to achieve forest management objectives.

Silviculture system: a planned forest management program incorporating harvesting, regenerating, and stand tending practices to achieve desired stand outcomes and sustainable forest objectives. Silviculture systems are classified by the forest left after initial cutting.

Standing timber volume: timber volume is the amount of wood, or wood plus bark, present in an individual tree, group of trees, or stand. The timber volume of a tree includes the stem, branches, stump, and roots. For standing trees, aboveground volume is based on stem wood volume for conifers, but may include branch volume for broad-leaved tree species.

Threatened: species that are likely to be endangered if environmental factors are not changed.

Timber assets: accessible, timber-productive, non-reserved forest land. In the timber asset, commercial timber production is viable, harvesting is allowed and commercially valuable species grow to a merchantable size in reasonable length of time. This land accounted for approximately 1.44 million km2 in 1991. The timber stock used to produce monetary estimates of Canada's timber asset is assumed to be static.Note 7

Treed: Term used in site assessment of the National Forestry Inventory to indicate land cover where 10% or more of the area is covered in tree species of any size.

Uneven-aged stands: a forest stand with trees of different age classes—generally three or more.

White-nose syndrome: a disease affecting hibernating bats. It is named for the white fungal growth (Geomyces destructans) that appears on the muzzle and other body parts of hibernating bats and is associated with extensive mortality of bats.

Wood pulp: wood fibers, prepared from pulpwood, wood chips, particles or recovered paper using mechanical or chemical processes, for use in manufacturing paper, paperboard and other products.


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