Treatments

Features and their curves indicate the condition of the forest belonging to a particular track, essentially describing "what's on the ground". The next step would be to explore the question, "What are our management options?" These management options are silvicultural treatments that apply to the planning area in question (the block that is referencing the track). The treatments.csv file defines the rules describing the treatments that can be applied during specific age ranges.

See Table 10, “Treatments file format description” for a detailed description of the treatments file format.

Table 10. Treatments file format description

Field nameData typeDescription
TRACKString An alphanumeric label that matches a track label from the feature file (see the section called “Features”). It is an error to include treatments for non-existent tracks.
BEGINinteger A number that represents the starting offset when this treatment is eligible. The treatment is eligible if the managed offset is greater than or equal to the beginning offset.
ENDinteger A number that represents the ending offset after which this treatment is no longer eligible. The treatment can only be applied if the managed offset is less than or equal to the ending offset.
TREATMENTString An alphanumeric label that identifies the treatment. The label can contain no special characters. This label is also used as a link into the product file (the section called “Products”).
NEWTRACKString An alphanumeric label that points to the track that describes the post-treatment stand. This track must exist in the feature file (the section called “Features”).
ADJUSTString A value of A or R indicating if the new offset for the post-treatment condition should be determined using an absolute or relative computation.
OFFSETinteger An integer that is used in determining the new offset of the post-treatment condition.
RETAINinteger An integer that specifies the minimum number of years that the post-treatment stand must remain along the new track before being eligible for another treatment.

Example 14. Sample treatments file records

	  TRACK   BEGIN   END     TREATMENT NEWTRACK      ADJUST  OFFSET  RETAIN
	  ...
	  Track.3 85      99999   Exten     Track.4       A       0       0 
	  Track.3 85      99999   Basc1     Track.5       A       0       0
	  Track.2 85      99999   Exten     Track.3       A       0       0
	  Track.7 85      99999   Exten     Track.4       A       0       0
	  Track.7 85      99999   Basc1     Track.5       A       0       0
	  Track.6 85      99999   Exten     Track.7       A       0       0
	  Track.6 85      99999   Basc1     Track.8       A       0       0
	  Track.2 85      99999   Basc1     Track.6       A       0       0
	  ...
	

Blocks are linked to treatment options by their current track identification label.

The treatments.csv file is organized by track number: one record for each treatment type available for that particular track. In the above example, Track.3 has two treatment types available to the managed area it represents: Exten and Basc1. These treatments are eligible for application between an early operability limit of age 85 and a late operability limit of age 99999 (essentially unlimited).

One of the important components of the treatments.csv file is the NEWTRACK field. This allows Patchworks to mimic the change in forest stand characteristics after treatments have been applied. In the above example, if an Exten management treatment is applied to the managed area of a block that is initially linked to Track.3, the resulting managed area will be described by the feature curves in Track.4.

It is possible for the NEWTRACK field value to be the same as the TRACK field value. If a management treatment produces the same forest dynamics and characteristics that existed before the treatment, the block can continue on the same track with a new OFFSET field value (see the following example).

	  TRACK   BEGIN   END     TREATMENT  NEWTRACK ADJUST      OFFSET  RETAIN
	  ...
	  Track.3 90      300     CC         Track.3      A       -5      0
	  Track.5 90      300     CC         Track.5      A       -5      0
	  Track.1 90      300     CC         Track.1      A       -5      0
	  ...
	

The NEWTRACK field contains the label of the track that describes post-treatment conditions. The Patchworks model will perform appropriate bookkeeping to look up feature attributes and treatment options for the correct tracks at appropriate times.

The name of the management treatment option is provided by the contents of the TREATMENT field. This field contains an alphanumeric string containing no special characters. You should use meaningful names for this label (e.g. INTENSIVE, SELECTION). The value of the TREATMENT field will show up in the manual treatment allocation control of the Patchworks graphical user interface. This field is also used to provide a link to the products file (see the section called “Products”). The products file contains definitions of the tangible outcomes of the management treatment (e.g. wood harvest, dollars spent).

The BEGIN and END fields contain integers that represent offsets for the starting and ending of eligibility for the treatment. Offsets are closely analogous to stand ages, but the definition is relaxed to allow for uneven-aged or all-aged management.

The ADJUST and OFFSET fields control how the post-treatment offset is computed. If the value in the adjust field is A (for "Absolute") then the post-treatment offset is set to the value of the offset field. However, if the value of ADJUST is R (for "Relative") then the offset value is added to the pre-treatment offset to yield the new offset.

[Important]Important

Absolute adjustments typically mimic even-aged management treatments, where the stand age is usually reset to zero, and the managed area starts at the beginning of the new track. Relative treatments are usually used to simulate mid-rotation treatments, where the age of the stand does not change, but the development characteristics do.

The RETAIN field specifies the minimum number of years that the managed area must remain on the new track. This feature is useful in modelling mid-rotation treatments (such as understory planting), where the effect of the treatment is only achieved if the stand is left undisturbed for a number of years following the treatment.