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1/ How should we conserve forests in the temperate zone? A diverse approach that includes Minimal intervention (passive #rewilding ), Traditional management, Non-traditional management, and Species management (trophic #rewilding ) is best. #RewildingScience @AgriPlantSoil
@AgriPlantSoil 2/ Frank Götmark reviews habitat management options for temperate forest conservation. He reviewed >2000 studies, and selected 150 for detailed review. Of these, 59% gave no recommendations for management, 8% recommend minimal intervention and 33% active management.
@AgriPlantSoil 3/ He warns against assuming there is one “best” forest habitat, and highlights a diverse approach is needed. (My own research is supporting this perspective in other habitats too)
@AgriPlantSoil 4/ “Two concepts, succession and natural disturbances, form the background of many management decisions…” Disturbance includes “windstorms, fires, flooding, drought, extreme cold, tree damage by large mammals, fungi or insects, ….
@AgriPlantSoil 5/ … landslides, avalanches, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and asteroid collisions.” Natural disturbance patterns vary from place to place. More research is needed to explore this variation in disturbance.
@AgriPlantSoil 6/ There are some areas of succession created forest on agricultural land that was abandoned in the mid-western and eastern parts of the US. Sweden has also experienced periods of succession created forest, notably in 500-600 AD, 1300-1400 AD, 1900-2000 AD.
@AgriPlantSoil 7/ Minimal intervention: Probably the most common approach to forest management for conservation. It includes the @IUCN_PA Ib (Wilderness area), II (National Park), and III (Natural monument). 3 reasons for minimal intervention: …
@AgriPlantSoil @IUCN_PA 8/ … 1) old-growth forests are rare, and those exceeding 250 years extremely rare in temperate zone. 2) Old-growth forests with associated processes favour many taxa. 3) Forests under minimal intervention serve as references for direct human impacts and management.
@AgriPlantSoil @IUCN_PA 9/ Traditional management: Interestingly defined here as ‘management based on historical, archeological, and paleoecological evidence, seeking to produce or maintain forest conditions that existed before modern agriculture and forestry converted the temperate landscapes.’
@AgriPlantSoil @IUCN_PA 10/ Many traditional management components have direct links to the modern concept of natural disturbance regimes. E.g. use of grazing and browsing animals, coppice, pollarding, periodic use of fire.
@AgriPlantSoil @IUCN_PA 11/ 3 reasons for traditional management: 1) may threatened species rely on human management because of loss of habitat elsewhere. 2) partial opening of canopy through management supports light-demanding species e.g. example from Sweden below
@AgriPlantSoil @IUCN_PA 12/ 3) traditional management typically increases heterogeneity of forest habitat types and so can support a greater diversity of species. Table below highlights how management supports some species at the expense of others. Diverse approach needed.
@AgriPlantSoil @IUCN_PA 13/ Non-traditional management: “This is active management of conservation forests for development towards old-growth characteristics, desirable forest structure, or tree species that favour biodiversity”
@AgriPlantSoil @IUCN_PA 14/ This differs from traditional management because it does not use a historic or pre-historic reference point to recreate. Adv: 1) it is flexible and not bound my minimal intervention or historical ideals. 2) Can accelerate the creation of more diverse, old-growth like forest…
@AgriPlantSoil @IUCN_PA 15/ 3) can favour specific species that are particularly important for wildlife like oak.
@AgriPlantSoil @IUCN_PA 16/ Species management/ trophic #rewilding: this is focusing on the role of a few keystone species. This is a rare approach. Arguments in favour: 1) management for important but threatened species seems justified.
@AgriPlantSoil @IUCN_PA 17/ 2) efficient to focus on returning keystone species as they have strong effects at low population densities with the potential to alter the whole ecosystem. I saw nice talk by @bjenquist yesterday highlighting importance of biggest plants & animals:…
@AgriPlantSoil @IUCN_PA @bjenquist 18/ Paper goes on to highlight the potentially important roles of white-backed woodpecker, northern spotted owl, and large herbivores and predators in creating niche space for other species.
@AgriPlantSoil @IUCN_PA @bjenquist 19/ Combinations of the above approaches are advised, and these become more possible in larger protected areas. And trophic #rewilding typically needs large areas because many keystone species are space hungry animals.
@AgriPlantSoil @IUCN_PA @bjenquist 20/ The paper concludes by highlighting the need for more research to better understand the outcomes of these different approaches, the need for long-term experiments that include practitioners, and highlighting it is best to employ a diversity of approaches.
@AgriPlantSoil @IUCN_PA @bjenquist I like this paper. Gives a nice overview of land management options and fits #rewilding into wider set of options for conserving #biodiversity Full paper here:… @RewildingB @RewildingEurope @AliDriverUK @prjepson
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