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Forskningsartikel - Refereegranskat, 2021

Natural Disturbance-Based Forest Management: Moving Beyond Retention and Continuous-Cover Forestry

Kuuluvainen, Timo; Angelstam, Per; Frelich, Lee; Jogiste, Kalev; Koivula, Matti; Kubota, Yasuhiro; Lafleur, Benoit; Macdonald, Ellen


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.


biodiversity conservation; forest dynamics; forest ecosystem; landscape management; restoration; sustainable forestry; Natural range of variation

Publicerad i

Frontiers in forests and global change
2021, Volym: 4, artikelnummer: 629020

    Globala målen

    SDG15 Life on land

    UKÄ forskningsämne

    Forest Science

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