StandsSIM is a wide-range simulator being applicable at stand, management unit, landscape or country level. The simulator can be used with two different philosophies: driven by management ( or by wood/biomass demand (StandsSIM.dd). Either way it allows predicting the development of multiple stands taking into account the impact of external drivers such as management, hazards (forest fire), land use changes, and demand, only accounted for under the demand driven mode.

This tool integrates a set of growth models complemented by a set of modules responsible for initializing new stands or simulating thinning:

Stands initialization module:

    • StandsSIM simulates the diameter distribution of trees when the stands reaches a dominant height of 5 m. The distribution is based on data from trials monitored by ForChange group.

Thinning module:

    • StandsSIM allows considering several types of thinning: from below or according to user defined probabilities depending on tree size and based on different criteria such as the Wilson factor, the residual basal area or the percent thinned basal area.

Forest management approach (FMA) and management prescriptions:

The FMA describes the silvicultural operations carried out since stand regeneration until final harvest. Therefore, FMAs must be defined up to the maximum harvest age considered (even-aged stands) or up to the rotation time (uneven-aged stands). For each FMA, even- or uneven-aged, several management options, characterized by the set of silvicultural operations and their frequency, can be considered.

The management prescription corresponds to a sequence of FMAs to be applied to a stand over a given planning horizon. The set of cycles, from stand regeneration until final harvest, can be made up of sequences of different FMAs/options (Prescriptions A and B) or by sequences of the same FMA (prescription C).

The user must guarantee that the number of cycles covers the planning horizon and that the number of cycles varies with the harvest ages or rotation lengths in each FMA. Stands with incomplete prescriptions (Prescription B) will not be simulated. On the other hand, FMAs defined for a number of years greater than the planning horizon this will result in a single cycle prescription Prescription D).

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