Understanding Historical Landscape Patterns on the Mercer FMA Areas in Alberta

managed forest

This project was a spatial modelling exercise that created coarse-scale pre-industrial landscape metrics for the Mercer FMA in Alberta. The primary goal was to understand if, or in what ways the current condition of the region aligns with the historical range.

Overall, the metrics from this study suggest that these are both unbalanced landscapes that are headed in the wrong direction, due largely to decades of the inappropriate use of disturbance as a tool. This is likely already negatively impacting resilience to climate change, the likelihood of maintaining a sustainable flow of all goods and services, the risk of natural disturbance agents, and by association, the ecological, economic and social health of forested ecosystems.