Research Plan

AWARE is an NSERC Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) project that will address a suite of 25 research questions through a framework (general to specific) described through a series of themes (see Figures 1 and 2). At each scale of observation each theme will develop relationships and approaches linking remotely sensed variables with stand, tree, and wood attributes. To group the questions under each theme, there are a series of focus areas, which recognize that a number of individual projects may be investigating similar issues, but using different datasets, sites, species groups, growth stages and so on. Lastly there is a cross-cutting theme which addresses focus areas which are common across all of the sites, and of interest to all of the industrial partners. The actual attributes measured, modeled, and extrapolated will vary depending on the scale of observation: from national and regional-level observations which will be linked to broader scale changes in species composition and overall productivity, to plot scale measurements which will facilitate predictions at the individual tree level, relating timber and wood attributes such as branching, sweep, and volume.

As a result, each theme will produce a variety of deliverables that will be of interest to a range of stakeholders. At the broadest scale, these results will be relevant to national stakeholders, such as FPInnovations, Canadian Forest Service (CFS), the Canadian Wood Fibre Center (CWFC), and provincial forest management agencies, all of whom have responsibilities for reporting national and provincial trends in forest growth, condition, and quality. In contrast, the results and outputs of the project at the plot scale will be of interest for tactical and operational inventories and management, including activities such as growth and yield modelling, silviculture and modelling wood flow.

The three themes address 1: The broad scale drivers of forest stand structure across the forested regions of Canada; 2: Estimation of stand and tree level structural, volume and species variation at regional / management focus sites; and 3: Derivation of individual tree characteristics within plots, and their links to wood fibre attributes, for enhanced forest inventories (Figure 2). 

Figure 1: Overview of the 3 themes and their scale of application


Figure 2: The three research themes of the AWARE project