Charles Nock

Charles Nock

Department of Renewable Resources
University of Alberta

Chair title

NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Ecosystem-based Management for Forest Stand Resilience

Chair program

Industrial Research Chairs program


Associate Chairholder since 2020


The overall goal of the Industrial Research Chair (IRC) in Ecosystem-based Management (EBM) for Forest Stand Resilience is to provide the scientific knowledge basis for development of forest management approaches to improve the resilience of forest ecosystems, and the diversity of values they provide, under climate change. EBM recognizes a broad range of social, economic and ecological values and has become popular across Canada. Emulating natural disturbances like wildfire, by retention of forest structural characteristics, is a key approach to forest harvesting under EBM. However, tests of whether island remnants resulting from harvest and fire disturbance perform similar functions are rare. This knowledge gap will be addressed by comparing remnants from past fires and past harvests and assessing forest structure, composition and biodiversity in remnants after two decades of development following the disturbance events.

Maintaining forest resilience to climate change will also increasingly depend on applying management practices that can reduce drought impacts on important processes such as tree growth. Although managing mixtures of tree species is promoted as a general strategy to increase forest resilience, whether growth in mixed stands of aspen and spruce is more resilient to impacts from drought remains poorly documented. We will thus test if growth declines less in mixed stands during drought by measuring tree rings and comparing growth in pure and mixed stands.

Finally, recognizing the diverse benefits derived from forest ecosystems is also a central feature of EBM. However, a given management strategy may have similar or contrasting effects on individual benefits. By working with field measurements that characterize the multiple benefits derived from forests, we will develop a better understanding of potential trade-offs and win-win scenarios, and thus help to inform management for a multitude of values.


  • Mercer Peace River Pulp Ltd.
  • Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta
  • Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc.
  • Canadian Forest Products Ltd.
  • Manning Forest Products, a Division of West Fraser
  • Weyerhaeuser Company Limited
  • Tolko Industries Ltd.

Contact information

Department of Renewable Resources
University of Alberta



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