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Can retention forestry help conserve biodiversity?

a meta-analysis

Fedrowitz, Katja and Koricheva, Julia and Baker, Susan C. and Lindenmayer, David B. and Palik, Brian and Rosenvald, Raul and Beese, William and Franklin, Jerry F. and Kouki, Jari and Macdonald, Ellen and Messier, Christian and Sverdrup-Thygeson, Anne and Gustafsson, Lena (2014). Can retention forestry help conserve biodiversity? Journal of applied ecology. 51:6, 1669–1679
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Abstract

Industrial forestry typically leads to a simplified forest structure and altered species composition. Retention of trees at harvest was introduced about 25years ago to mitigate negative impacts on biodiversity, mainly from clearcutting, and is now widely practiced in boreal and temperate regions. Despite numerous studies on response of flora and fauna to retention, no comprehensive review has summarized its effects on biodiversity in comparison to clearcuts as well as un-harvested forests. Using a systematic review protocol, we completed a meta-analysis of 78 studies including 944 comparisons of biodiversity between retention cuts and either clearcuts or un-harvested forests, with the main objective of assessing whether retention forestry helps, at least in the short term, to moderate the negative effects of clearcutting on flora and fauna. Retention cuts supported higher richness and a greater abundance of forest species than clearcuts as well as higher richness and abundance of open-habitat species than un-harvested forests. For all species taken together (i.e. forest species, open-habitat species, generalist species and unclassified species), richness was higher in retention cuts than in clearcuts. Retention cuts had negative impacts on some species compared to un-harvested forest, indicating that certain forest-interior species may not survive in retention cuts. Similarly, retention cuts were less suitable for some open-habitat species compared with clearcuts. Positive effects of retention cuts on richness of forest species increased with proportion of retained trees and time since harvest, but there were not enough data to analyse possible threshold effects, that is, levels at which effects on biodiversity diminish. Spatial arrangement of the trees (aggregated vs. dispersed) had no effect on either forest species or open-habitat species, although limited data may have hindered our capacity to identify responses. Results for different comparisons were largely consistent among taxonomic groups for forest and open-habitat species, respectively.Synthesis and applications. Our meta-analysis provides support for wider use of retention forestry since it moderates negative harvesting impacts on biodiversity. Hence, it is a promising approach for integrating biodiversity conservation and production forestry, although identifying optimal solutions between these two goals may need further attention. Nevertheless, retention forestry will not substitute for conservation actions targeting certain highly specialized species associated with forest-interior or open-habitat conditions.Our meta-analysis provides support for wider use of retention forestry since it moderates negative harvesting impacts on biodiversity. Hence, it is a promising approach for integrating biodiversity conservation and production forestry, although identifying optimal solutions between these two goals may need further attention. Nevertheless, retention forestry will not substitute for conservation actions targeting certain highly specialized species associated with forest-interior or open-habitat conditions.

Authors/Creators:Fedrowitz, Katja and Koricheva, Julia and Baker, Susan C. and Lindenmayer, David B. and Palik, Brian and Rosenvald, Raul and Beese, William and Franklin, Jerry F. and Kouki, Jari and Macdonald, Ellen and Messier, Christian and Sverdrup-Thygeson, Anne and Gustafsson, Lena
Title:Can retention forestry help conserve biodiversity?
Subtitle:a meta-analysis
Series/Journal:Journal of applied ecology (0021-8901)
Year of publishing :2014
Depositing date:2015
Volume:51
Number:6
Page range:1669–1679
Number of Pages:11
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:0021-8901
Language:English
Publication Type:Article Review/Survey
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:K Forestry > K01 Forestry - General aspects
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Forest Science
Agrovoc terms:biodiversity, boreal forests, clear felling, forestry, ecology
Keywords:biodiversity, boreal forest, clearcut, disturbance, forestry, structural retention, temperate forest, variable retention
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-2399
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-2399
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000345706100022
DOI10.1111/1365-2664.12289
ID Code:11867
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:11 Feb 2015 12:45
Metadata Last Modified:19 Feb 2015 20:02

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