The Tool for Exploratory Landscape Scenario Analyses (TELSA) is a spatially explicit, landscape-level model of forest dynamics. It helps resource managers and planners assess the consequences of alternative management scenarios at the scale of landscape units. Unlike many other strategic planning models of terrestrial ecosystem dynamics, TELSA takes into account natural disturbances so that users can explore how their proposed management strategies will interact with vegetation succession and disturbances to alter landscape composition and structure.
TELSA can be used as a tool for landscape unit planning, for adaptive management, or for any other planning process that involves different groups of experts and stakeholders who compare and assess the outcomes of different assumptions across space and time. At the core of the process is a tool with which to simulate multiple scenarios, each characterised by different assumptions about management actions and natural disturbances. The results of scenarios are compared in terms of several indicators relevant to the stakeholders in the planning process. Since wildfires and other natural disturbance events that affect vegetation dynamics are inherently unpredictable, the model can use multiple stochastic simulations of each scenario to provide estimates of the mean, range and variability of future values of the selected performance indicators.
TELSA represents terrestrial succession and the impacts of management and natural disturbances as changes in the species composition and structural stages of stands. Diagrams developed with the Vegetation Dynamics Development Tool (VDDT) define the transition times between various succession classes (combinations of species composition and stand development stage) and the probabilities and impacts of disturbance by insects, fire or other agents. These diagrams also define the impacts of management actions on landscape structure and composition. The area disturbed annually, and the sizes and types of disturbances respond to landscape changes from succession or management.
Landscape management, including salvage logging for example, is also defined by specifying which actions to schedule based on the condition of stands and of the landscape. TELSA includes an automated approach to designing management units based on user-specified criteria. It can therefore be used to assess alternative size ranges for management units and mixtures of management systems.
see: What are the data requirements?
Beukema, S.J., C. Pinkham, W.A. Kurz, R. Walton and L. Frid. 2003. TELSA: Tool for Exploratory Landscape Scenario Analyses, User's Guide, Version 3.1. Prepared by ESSA Technologies Ltd., Vancouver, BC for the BC Ministry of Forests, Kamloops, BC. 194 pps.
Kurz, W.A., T.M. Webb, S.J. Beukema , J.A. Greenough, D.C.E. Robinson, A.D. Sharpe and L. Frid. 2003. TELSA: Tool for Exploratory Landscape Scenario Analyses, Model Description, Version 3.0. Prepared by ESSA Technologies Ltd., Vancouver, BC for the BC Ministry of Forests, Kamloops, BC. 49 pp.
Beukema, S.J. 2000. TELSA: A strategic planning tool for ecosystem management. 2000 ESRI International User Conference.
Klenner, W., W.A. Kurz and S.J. Beukema. 2000. Habitat patterns in forested landscapes: management practices and the uncertainty associated with natural disturbances. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 27: 243-262.
Kurz, W.A., S.J. Beukema, W. Klenner, J.A. Greenough, D.C.E. Robinson, A.D. Sharpe and T.M. Webb. 2000. TELSA: the Tool for Exploratory Landscape Scenario Analyses. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 27: 227-242.
Merzenich, J., W.A. Kurz, S.J. Beukema, M. Arbaugh and S. Schilling. 1999. Long-range modelling of stochastic disturbances and management treatments using VDDT and TELSA. In: Proceedings: Society of American Foresters National Convention: Landscape Analysis Session. Portland, Oregon. Sep 14, 1999.