Plantation forests and biodiversity: oxymoron or opportunity? View Full Text


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Article Info

DATE

2008-04-09

AUTHORS

Eckehard G. Brockerhoff, Hervé Jactel, John A. Parrotta, Christopher P. Quine, Jeffrey Sayer

ABSTRACT

Losses of natural and semi-natural forests, mostly to agriculture, are a significant concern for biodiversity. Against this trend, the area of intensively managed plantation forests increases, and there is much debate about the implications for biodiversity. We provide a comprehensive review of the function of plantation forests as habitat compared with other land cover, examine the effects on biodiversity at the landscape scale, and synthesise context-specific effects of plantation forestry on biodiversity. Natural forests are usually more suitable as habitat for a wider range of native forest species than plantation forests but there is abundant evidence that plantation forests can provide valuable habitat, even for some threatened and endangered species, and may contribute to the conservation of biodiversity by various mechanisms. In landscapes where forest is the natural land cover, plantation forests may represent a low-contrast matrix, and afforestation of agricultural land can assist conservation by providing complementary forest habitat, buffering edge effects, and increasing connectivity. In contrast, conversion of natural forests and afforestation of natural non-forest land is detrimental. However, regional deforestation pressure for agricultural development may render plantation forestry a ‘lesser evil’ if forest managers protect indigenous vegetation remnants. We provide numerous context-specific examples and case studies to assist impact assessments of plantation forestry, and we offer a range of management recommendations. This paper also serves as an introduction and background paper to this special issue on the effects of plantation forests on biodiversity. More... »

PAGES

925-951

References to SciGraph publications

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  • 2008-01-31. Epiphytes of Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) plantations in Ireland and the effects of open spaces in BIODIVERSITY AND CONSERVATION
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  • 2007-10-12. Diversity and composition of fruit-feeding butterflies in tropical Eucalyptus plantations in BIODIVERSITY AND CONSERVATION
  • 2001-11. Diversity of naturally-regenerated native woody species in forest plantations in the Ethiopian highlands in NEW FORESTS
  • 2000-02. Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities in NATURE
  • 2008-04-02. Relevance of exotic pine plantations as a surrogate habitat for ground beetles (Carabidae) where native forest is rare in BIODIVERSITY AND CONSERVATION
  • 2007-04-04. Logging: the new conservation in NATURE
  • 2008-04-16. Non-native plantation forests as alternative habitat for native forest beetles in a heavily modified landscape in BIODIVERSITY AND CONSERVATION
  • 2008-02-08. The early effects of afforestation on biodiversity of grasslands in Ireland in BIODIVERSITY AND CONSERVATION
  • 2007-11-20. Identifying practical indicators of biodiversity for stand-level management of plantation forests in BIODIVERSITY AND CONSERVATION
  • 2008-04-16. Stand-level management of plantations to improve biodiversity values in BIODIVERSITY AND CONSERVATION
  • Identifiers

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    http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/s10531-008-9380-x

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    33 schema:description Losses of natural and semi-natural forests, mostly to agriculture, are a significant concern for biodiversity. Against this trend, the area of intensively managed plantation forests increases, and there is much debate about the implications for biodiversity. We provide a comprehensive review of the function of plantation forests as habitat compared with other land cover, examine the effects on biodiversity at the landscape scale, and synthesise context-specific effects of plantation forestry on biodiversity. Natural forests are usually more suitable as habitat for a wider range of native forest species than plantation forests but there is abundant evidence that plantation forests can provide valuable habitat, even for some threatened and endangered species, and may contribute to the conservation of biodiversity by various mechanisms. In landscapes where forest is the natural land cover, plantation forests may represent a low-contrast matrix, and afforestation of agricultural land can assist conservation by providing complementary forest habitat, buffering edge effects, and increasing connectivity. In contrast, conversion of natural forests and afforestation of natural non-forest land is detrimental. However, regional deforestation pressure for agricultural development may render plantation forestry a ‘lesser evil’ if forest managers protect indigenous vegetation remnants. We provide numerous context-specific examples and case studies to assist impact assessments of plantation forestry, and we offer a range of management recommendations. This paper also serves as an introduction and background paper to this special issue on the effects of plantation forests on biodiversity.
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