Developing restoration and management scenarios

Eastern white pine (Pi nus strobus L.) has historically be en one of the most valuable species in North America and remains a very important species culturally, ecologically and economically (Schroeder 1992, Abrams 2001, Burgess and Wetzel 2000, Ostry et al. 2010). White pine possesses important symbolic and spiritual value, e.g. as a symbollspirit of peace in the Iroquois tradition (Schroeder 1992). It is the provincial tree of Ontario and the state tree of Maine and Michigan (Anonymous 1993). The seeds, needles, bark and twigs are important food sources for many birds, reptiles and mammals including mo ose (A lees alces Clin.) and white-tailed de er (Odocoileu s virginianus Zimm.). White pine trees provide valuable habitat for many wildlife species, e.g. bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus L.) prefer to nest on supercanopy white pines (Rogers and Lindquist 1992, Latremouille et al. 2008). The species is also used as a medicinal plant to treat different ailments by the aboriginal peoples ofNorth America (Poster and Duke 2000, Uprety et al. 2012a).

Until the early 1900’s, white pine harvesting generated important revenues in North America. In the USA, white pine harvesting in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota generated millions of dollars and employed thousands of people (Chapelle 1992). An estimated 315 billion board feet of white pine was harvested from the Great Lakes region between the mid 1800’s and the 1930’s, accounting for 60 to 82 % of the region’s total annual timber production between 1869 and 1900 (Steen-Adams et al. 2007). Lumbermen preferred white pine, frrst because it floats and was thus easy to transport on rivers, and second because it grows into taU boles of clear wood, flexible, light, strong and durable (Steen-Adams et al. 2007) .

Cultural importance of white pine (Pinus strobus L.) to the Kitcisakik Algonquin community of western Que bec, Canada 

Trees and forests have considerable cultural, spiritual and ecological significance for people around the world (Dudley et al. 2005, Trigger and Mulcock 2005). They provide goods and services that benefit society in various ways. It is sometimes forests, as part of cultural landscapes, or often specifie tree species that are deeply ingrained in the cultures and beliefs of societies. However, the ways in which societies benefit from trees differ widely, as patterns of resource use are shaped by the values, priorities, perceptions, and expectations of each cultural group. For example, aboriginal communities living in forested areas or close to forested areas view the ir surrounding lands cape as a cultural entity (Berkes and Davidson-Hunt 2006, Ramakrishnan 2007). Forests are sacred for them and considered an integral part of their collective identity and culture (Young 1999). Many native trees have long held special significance to society – partly valued as economie resources, but also as sources of inspiration, symbols of place and metaphors for life (Trigger and Mulcock 2005, Turner et al. 2009). The banyan tree (Ficus benghalensis L.) in Nepal, the baobab (Adansonia spp.) in Madagascar and the monkey puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana (Molina) K. Koch) in Chile are examples of such culturally important tree species (Dudley et al. 2005).

Garibaldi and Turner (2004) were among the frrst to coin the term « cultural keystone species » while referring to the importance of western red-cedar (Thuja plicata Donn ex D. Don) to Northwest Coast cultures. Species that have fundamental roles in diet, production of material goods, medicine, and/or spiritual practices and beliefs can be designated as cultural keystone species (Garibaldi and Turner 2004). According to Platten and Henfrey (2009), cultural keystone species are essential to maintaining the complexity of social- ecological systems. The cultural keystone species concept provides a framework for assessing the impacts of environmental change on a particular group of people and the ir life ways (Garibaldi and Turner 2004). As such, it is a useful tool for ecological conservation and restoration.

Methods 

Study area
The study area is the ca. 5000 km2 territory occupied by the ca. 430 members of the Kitcisakik Algonquin community. Aboriginal peoples of Canada include First Nation, Metis, and Inuit communities. The Kitc isakik community is part of the Algonquin First Nation. Its territory is located primarily within the boundaries of the Réserve Faunique La Vérendrye in western Que bec, less than 300 km north of Ottawa (Ontario) the Canadian capital . A ver age annual temperature in the study area is 1.2-3.3°C, and average precipitation is 914-1014 mmlyear, with 22-33% falling as snow (Val-d’Or and Mont-Laurier weather stations, Environment Canada: http://www.climate.weatheroffice.gc.ca/climate _ normals). The study area is located in the balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Miller) – yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis Britton.) bioclimatic domain (Saucier et al. 1998). Mixed fo rest types are dominant, with balsam fir and yellow birch sometimes accompanied by sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh. ), red maple (Acer rubrum L. ), trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.), paper birch (Betula papyrifera Marsh.), black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP.), white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss), red pine (Pinus resinosa Aiton), jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.), and white pine. Pure white pine stands are rare.

Data collection and analysis
The study stemmed from a request from the Kitcisakik Aki Department, thus ensuring its legitimacy and facilitating active participation from community members (Asselin and Basile 20 12). The research proto col was approved by the Re se arch Ethics Board of Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT). Qualitative data were collected through key informant interviews. Key informants were selected based on peer selection by applying chain referral, also called snowball sampling, in which participants suggest other local holders of knowledge (Gamborg et al. 2012). A community facilitator appointed by the Aki Department helped identifY and contact participants. The subject and the objectives of the study were explained to the participants in order to obtain clear and informed consent.

Results 

Cultural and spiritual importance
When asked about cultural and spiritual significance of white pine trees and forests, all respondents said that their culture and beliefs were connected to this species. Sorne respondents said that white pine was part of traditional stories and myths, thus highlighting its cultural and spiritual salience. White pine was considered a sacred tree and was believed to give protection to the people. An eider said « I talk to him so that he protects me because it is the largest and tallest tree in our forests ». When asked if it would be possible to replace the role of this species in their culture by another native tree species available on the territory, most of the respondents that answered this question said it would not be possible.

All respondents said that bald eagles (H aliaeetus leucocephalus L.) nest on tops of tall white pine trees. Eagles are sacred in the Algonquin culture, help people get through grief. One woman said  »they fly away with our problems ». An eider said « The eagle protects us. When things go well, the eagles are there ».

Medicinal value
Most ofthe respondents were knowledgeable about the medicinal properties ofwhite pine. Even though they were reluctant to disclose the detailed medicinal recipes, respondents identified various ailments that were treated using white pine cones, roots, twigs with needles, and bark: heart diseases, high blood pressure, tooth problems, muscle pain, wounds and swellings. Sorne respondents also said that white pine can be used as a tonie, to strengthen the system.

Food and habitat for wildlife
Respondents were asked to list the wildlife species that they had observed eating white pine seeds, branches or bark. This question had two objectives: determine white pine dependent wildlife, and species potentially threatening to white pine by predating seeds or feeding on branches or bark. According to the respondents, squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus Erxl.) eat the seeds, whereas porcupines (Erethizon dorsata L.) eat the bark.

Other services provided by white pine
Children made art craft with needles, cones and cone scales. White pme was considered as a good timber species by most ofthe respondents, although it was not better than other softwood species (Pinus, Picea, Abies, Thuja, Larix). However, sorne respondents mentioned that white pine attracts lightning and that they would not use it as a construction material. White pine wood was also used to make fumiture. One respondent said that large white pine trees were used to construct dugout canoes in the past. Old white pines were also used as fuelwood but sorne respondents mentioned that it produces black smoke. According to one respondent, white pine cones were used to dye fishing nets and remove human scent. White pine was said to act as a water filter, providing potable water.

GENERAL CONCLUSION 

Under the new paradigm of sustainable forest management, industry and governments increasingly recognize the importance of including different interests and perspectives from various stakeholders in the planning process. One of the key stakeholders in sustainable forest management are aboriginal communities whose concems, knowledge and values have received growing attention in recent years (Trosper and Parrotta 2012). Aboriginal perspectives and traditional knowledge should be taken into account in forest management, together with ecological knowledge (Stevenson 2005). This doctoral dissertation has advanced this approach of forest management by providing a concrete example of how aboriginal perspectives and ecological knowledge can be integrated into a culturally-adapted restoration and management scenario.

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Table des matières

CHAPTER I GENERAL INTRODUCTION 
1.1 Background
1.1.1 Autecology of white pine
1.1.2 Restoration and management ofwhite pine
1.1.3 Traditional ecological knowledge
1.2 Rationale of the dissertation
1. 3 Study area
1.4 Objectives ofthe study and structure ofthe dissertation
CHAPTER II Cultural importance ofwhite pine (Pinus strobus L.) to the Kitcisakik Algonquin community ofwestem Quebec, Canada 
2.1 Abstract
2.1 Résumé
2.2 Introduction
2.3 Methods
2. 3.1 Study area
2. 3.2 Data collection and analysis
2.4 Results
2.4. 1 Perception of white pine
2.4.1.1 Cultural and spiritual importance
2.4.1.2 Medicinal value
2.4.2 Food and habitat for wildlife
2.4.3 Other services provided by white pine
2.4.4 lbreats to white pine
2.4. 5 Management and restoration
2.5 Discussion
2. 5.1 White pine as a cultural keystone species
2.5.2 Comparing traditional knowledge and ecological studies
2.5.3 Importance of cultural values and traditional ecological knowledge recognition
2.6 Acknowledgments
2. 7 References
CHAPTER III White pine (Pinus strobus L.) regeneration dynamics at the species’ northern limit of continuons distribution
3.1 Abstract
3.1 Résumé
3.2 Introduction
3.3 Methods
3.3.1 Study area
3.3.2 Site selection and data collection
3.3.2.1 Detailed regeneration study
3.3.2.2 Regeneration according to distance from a remnant stand
3.3.2.3 Blister rust and weevil damage according to canopy cover
3.3.3 Data analysis
3.3.3.1 Detailed regeneration study
3.3.3.2 Regeneration according to distance from a remnant stand
3.3.3.3 Blister rust and weevil damage according to light availability, dryness, and white pine density
3.4 Results
3.4.1 Tree species composition ofwhite pine stands
3.4.2 Detailed regeneration study
3.3.3 Substrate-seedling associations in white pine stands
3.3.4 Regeneration according to distance from a remnant stand
3.3.5 Blister rust and weevil damage according to canopy cover
3.5 Discussion
3.6 Conclusion
3.7 Acknowledgements
3.8 References
CHAPTER IV Culturally-adapted white pine (Pinus strobus L.) restoration and management at the species’ northern limit of continuons distribution 
4.1 Abstract
4.1 Résumé
4.2 Introduction
4.3 Methods
4.3.1 Study area
4.3.2 The Kitcisakik community
4.3.3 Developing restoration and management scenarios
4.4 Current state ofknowledge
4.4.1 Cultural importance ofwhite pine to the Kitcisakik Algonquin
4.4.2 Ecology of white pine at its northem limit of continuous distribution
4.4.3 Restoration and management options for white pine
4.4. 3.1 Site selection
4.4.3.2 Site preparation
4.4.3.3 Shelterwood system for white pine restoration and management
4.4.3.4 Underplanting white pine
4.4.3.5 Mixed plantation
4.4.3.6 Pure white pine plantation
4. 5 Scenarios for white pine restoration and management..
4. 5.1 Scenario I: Scattered individuals of all ages
4.5.2 Scenario II: Supercanopy pines
4.5.3 Scenario III: Mature pure stands ofnatural origin
4.5.4 Scenario IV: Timber production
4.5.5 Scenario V: Mixed stands
4.6 Conclusion
4. 7 Acknowledgements
4.8 References
CHAPTER V GENERAL CONCLUSION

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