Global forest area is declining rapidly, along with degradation of the ecological condition of remaining forests. Hence it is necessary to adopt forest management approaches that can achieve a balance between (1) human management designs based on homogenization of forest structure to efficiently deliver economic values and (2) naturally emerging self-organized ecosystem dynamics that foster heterogeneity, biodiversity, resilience and adaptive capacity. Natural disturbance-based management is suggested to provide such an approach. It is grounded on the premise that disturbance is a key process maintaining diversity of ecosystem structures, species and functions, and adaptive and evolutionary potential, which functionally link to sustainability of ecosystem services supporting human well-being. We review the development, ecological and evolutionary foundations and applications of natural disturbance-based forest management. With emphasis on boreal forests, we compare this approach with two mainstream approaches to sustainable forest management, retention and continuous-cover forestry. Compared with these approaches, natural disturbance-based management provides a more comprehensive framework, which is compatible with current understanding of multiple-scale ecological processes and structures, which underlie biodiversity, resilience and adaptive potential of forest ecosystems. We conclude that natural disturbance-based management provides a comprehensive ecosystem-based framework for managing forests for human needs of commodity production and immaterial values, while maintaining forest health in the rapidly changing global environment.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Frontiers in Forests and Global Change|
|State||Published - Apr 9 2021|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
KJ acknowledges the grant no P200029MIME by Estonian University of Life Sciences.
© Copyright © 2021 Kuuluvainen, Angelstam, Frelich, Jõgiste, Koivula, Kubota, Lafleur and Macdonald.
- Natural range of variation
- biodiversity conservation
- forest dynamics
- forest ecosystem
- landscape management
- sustainable forestry