The areas of research proposed within ISFORT are not compartmentalized, but are based on continual knowledge development, monitoring and transfer. In collaboration with the partners who will benefit from the spin-offs of every scientific focus, ISFORT develops research projects and concerted actions in the following three main areas of research:
1. The functioning of the organisms and ecosystems of the natural and managed environments of the temperate forest
Thoughtful management of the temperate forest involves maintaining natural processes and patterns critical to the proper functioning of its ecosystems. However, basic knowledge about the structure, composition and natural dynamics of the components of these ecosystems are still poorly understood or even completely unknown. The acquisition of this knowledge poses a major challenge since, unlike the boreal forest, the deciduous forest has been severely altered by humans since the beginning of colonization.
2. Characterization and monitoring of natural resources
The temperate deciduous forest is composed of a great diversity of ecosystems, often presenting a broad compositional and structural heterogeneity. Such complexity poses a major challenge to management decisions? For forestry, this difficulty is accentuated by the concepts of tree vigor and product quality, which are essential for the forestry industry operating in this biome. It is therefore important to develop (i) tools for achieving a detailed characterization of natural resources and their variability, but also (ii) tools for detecting the health of ecosystems subjected to multiple environmental stresses.
3. Innovative approaches to natural resource development
In this area, we aim to better understand how to take action with respect to ecosystems of the temperate forest to enable the production of goods and services while maintaining the natural heritage. This involves the development of new silviculture and forest management practices as well as the development of tools for monitoring economic and ecological returns. The development of products and services will need to be intense and diverse in order to respond rapidly to the varying needs, both timber and non-timber, of the forest industry.