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Barbier, S. Forest Ecology and Management , 1 : Shortcut L'espace jeunesse Presse Intranet Fr. Forest management and specific biodiversity interactions. Problems 1. Main projects FORGECO: From diagnosis to action: towards integrated and sustainable management of regional forest ecosystems Conclusions from the Grenelle Environment Round Table highlight the importance of further developing wood resources while improving activities to encourage biodiversity conservation and, more generally, ecosystem operation.

Global Ecology and Biogeography , Bouget, C. Gosselin, F. PloS ONE 6: e Vuidot, A.

Strategies for Conserving Forest Biodiversity

Biological Conservation , Lassauce, A. Ecological Indicators , Forest Ecology and Management , Vallauri et al. Chevalier, R. Yet whole species of plants, animals, fungi, and microscopic organisms are being lost at alarming rates. Forests are the most diverse ecosystems on land, because they hold the vast majority of the world's terrestrial species.

Some rain forests are among the oldest ecosystems on Earth. Timber, pulpwood, firewood, fodder, meat, cash crops, fish and medicinal plants from the forest provide livelihoods for hundreds of millions of people worldwide. But only a fraction of known species has been examined for potential medicinal, agricultural or industrial value.

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Forest biodiversity is threatened by rapid deforestation, forest fragmentation and degradation, hunting and the arrival of invasive species from other habitats. We are losing 12 million hectares of forest a year, much of it tropical rainforest with its unique and rich biodiversity. One of the best ways to conserve forest biodiversity is to establish protected forest areas.

But these areas must be of a certain size, or consist of a well-designed network of forest areas, to allow the local forest ecosystems to continue operating effectively.

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The forest surrounding the protected area must then be carefully managed so that it serves as a buffer zone. These surrounding forests also allow local communities to earn a livelihood without infringing on the protected forest. Some trade-offs between ecosystem services occur because different tree species provide different ecosystem functions and services Gamfeldt et al. Hence, at local scales, promoting certain tree communities may maximise some, but not all, ecosystem services of interest. As a result, forest ecosystem multifunctionality generally increases with both tree Gamfeldt et al.

Therefore, recent studies have investigated whether larger-scale biodiversity, caused by a high spatial turnover in species composition i. This has turned out to be the case, as a high beta-diversity ensures that different localities complement each other in the ecosystem functions and services they provide Mori et al. Because of the large amount of data that is required for research on biodiversity and ecosystem multifunctionality, this field has only taken off relatively recently.

Hence, despite many recent advances, there are still many unresolved questions regarding how biodiversity and ecosystem multifunctionality can be simultaneously maximised in natural forests. For example, it is unknown whether the positive effects of local-scale tree species richness on ecosystem multifunctionality are even stronger when co-occurring species differ significantly in their traits or evolutionary origins, although such information can be crucial for planting multifunctional forests. In addition, it is known that forests can provide multiple ecosystem services to neighbouring landscape units, such as agricultural fields Mitchell et al.

However, whether the benefits of diverse forests for neighbouring fields are greater than those of species-poor forests is still an open question. With the increasing interest in understanding what drives multifunctional landscapes, it is likely that these and other related questions will be investigated in the future. Our review confirms that forest type and tree species richness affect forest biodiversity and that forest diversity can be an important factor in ecosystem function and the provision of ecosystem services.

We also need to better evaluate the effect of different levels of tree diversity; not only species but also genetic and functional diversity. And while canopy trees are obviously a dominant feature of forests, the diversity of understorey plants, vertebrates, invertebrates, fungi and microbes is also likely to be important for ecosystem services.

There is clearly a need for more research in this area to enable evidence-based advice for forest management and policy to enhance the provision of ecosystem services see also Mori et al. For natural forests this discussion may seem somewhat academic, as it is unlikely that tree species composition and diversity would be altered substantially in the interest of ecosystem services.


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  • Nevertheless, it is important to raise awareness about the role of natural forests and forest diversity in the provision of ecosystem services to highlight their value beyond the provision of timber and recreation. However, for planted forests there is ample opportunity for optimising their composition and diversity because replanting after harvesting is a recurring process.

    Our forest our future conservation and managing biodiversity in the South Pacific

    If it can be shown that there are opportunities for adding value and for increasing the resistance or resilience of planted forests, these should be good incentives for forest owners and managers to consider alternatives to the monoculture paradigm of most planted forests. The relevance of forest ecosystem services does not stop at the forest edge. There is much scope for synergies between forests and farming land uses; for example, even small patches of forest can benefit crop production by enhancing pollinator and natural enemy populations, although they may also provide disservices Decocq et al.

    Adding planted forests to catchments dominated by dairy farming reduces greenhouse gas emissions and improves water quality Monge et al. These are also important considerations in the debate about land sharing vs. Clearly, any afforestation plans should carefully consider previous land use in terms of the likely biodiversity and conservation outcomes e.

    Finally, any planted forest plan should evaluate options for mixed-species forests Pretzsch et al. This paper, published in vol. We are indebted to numerous colleagues for invaluable discussions about forest biodiversity and ecosystem services. Many thanks also to Judy McDonald for edits and comments on the manuscript. Skip to main content Skip to sections. Advertisement Hide. Download PDF. Forest biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and the provision of ecosystem services. Editorial First Online: 04 November Introduction Forests and woodlands harbour immense terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity and, especially in moist tropical regions, represent the most species-rich habitat type worldwide Mace et al.

    Aquatic biodiversity in forests: a weak link in ecosystem services resilience | Treesearch

    However, empirical studies that establish quantitative and causal relationships between forest biodiversity and ecosystem services are lacking for many important ESs Mori et al. For example, focusing only on the effect of tree species diversity, we found that the number of published articles see Online Resource 1 for details on the methodology addressing ESs provided by mixed forests was highly skewed towards provisioning services, particularly the provision of wood biomass, and regulating services such as the regulation of pests and diseases Fig.


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    • The provisioning of nutrition and energy services, and the cultural services delivered by mixed-species forests, are largely under-represented in the literature. Section Division Class with examples Number of publications Provisioning Nutrition Wild plants berries, mushrooms and animals game for food 2 Water for drinking 2 Material Wood biomass fibres, wood, timber Genetic material for tree breeding 1 Water for non-drinking purposes irrigation 16 Energy Fuel-wood 4 Regulating Mediation of toxics or nuisances Filtration, sequestration by trees or forest soils, of pollutants 24 Mediation of smell, noise, visual impacts visual screening, noise reduction by trees 2 Mediation of flows Protection against erosion landslides, avalanches 63 Water flow maintenance precipitation interception 30 Protection against flood by riparian forests or mangroves 1 Protection against storms shelter belts 17 Maintenance of physical, chemical and biological conditions Pollination and seed dispersal by pollinators or seed dispersal forest species Habitat provision habitat for native species and endangered biota Pest and disease control e.

      Box 1 Glossary. Open image in new window Example of dependencies between human well-being and ecological processes via ecosystem functions, services, and goods or products. Mixing effects for any given species composition will often change along spatial or temporal gradients of resource availability or climatic conditions. If soil nitrogen availability is high then any nitrogen fixed by a nitrogen-fixing species is unlikely to have much of an effect on non-nitrogen-fixing species Forrester For example, the growth of Pseudotsuga menziesii was greater when it was mixed with the N-fixing Alnus rubra on a low-N site, but not on a high-N site Binkley Fig.

      source site The rates of N, Mg and K uptake were greater in mixtures than in P. The same pattern can be expected for water- and light-related interactions along gradients in water status or gradients in light competition, respectively Forrester It was suggested that this resulted in species interactions that reduced competition for water, which was expected to be more useful on drier sites or during drier periods. In mixtures where complementarity increases as growing conditions improve, interactions that improve light absorption or light-use efficiency may be important. On sites with high nutrient and water availability, stands can develop large leaf areas and competition for light may be intense.

      Therefore, interactions that improve light absorption or light-use efficiency can be more useful. This was suggested to have caused the increasing complementarity effect for P. Habitat provisioning across forested landscapes In fragmented forest landscapes the levels of isolation and connectivity are important factors determining habitat provisioning at this scale Fahrig Habitat provisioning at within- and between-stands scales Large-scale forest management can lead to biotic homogenization of forest environments at stand and landscape scales; for example, when multispecies landscapes are replaced by even-aged monocultures, although in boreal forests the opposite effect may also occur.

      Knowledge gaps and future challenges Forest ecosystems support a large proportion of species threatened with extinction, and more applied research is urgently needed to evaluate sustainable forest management practices that will contribute to the protection of threatened species. Acknowledgements We are indebted to numerous colleagues for invaluable discussions about forest biodiversity and ecosystem services. Ecology — CrossRef Google Scholar. An analysis of ecosystem valuation approaches. Balvanera P, Pfisterer AB, Buchmann N et al Quantifying the evidence for biodiversity effects on ecosystem functioning and services.

      Nat Ecol Evol. Oikos — CrossRef Google Scholar. Routledge, London Google Scholar. Berndt L, Brockerhoff EG, Jactel H Relevance of exotic pine plantations as a surrogate habitat for ground beetles Carabidae where native forest is rare. Biodivers Conserv — Google Scholar.