- Aquatic biodiversity and forests.
- Challenges and opportunities for maintaining biodiversity in forested landscapes in the context of climate change and the cumulative effects of anthropogenic and natural disturbances.
- The potential impact of Invasive Alien Species (IAS) on forest biodiversity into the future.
- Using long-term data to investigate forest biodiversity.
- Biodiversity research and restoration management of semi-natural woodlands and high conservation value forest in commercial forests.
- Forests and bird conservation.
- Conserving native biodiversity in forests managed for bio-energy.
- Biodiversity indicators in forest ecosystems.
- Conservation management for invertebrates in forest litter and woody debris.
AQUATIC BIODIVERSITY AND FORESTS
US Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Corvallis.
US Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Oxford, MS.
Forest-dependent biodiversity includes stream- and wetland-dwelling species that are highly associated with and adapted to forested ecosystems and their attributes wherever forests occur in the world. This biota can be affected, often adversely, not only by forest management practices but also by factors such as invasion of non-native species, or in the future, climate change. For example, timber harvest, invasive species, or climate change (e.g., extended drought) may alter aquatic habitat conditions such as water temperature, water quantity, substrate composition, or down wood availability which singly or in concert can cascade across multiple organizational levels of aquatic organisms. This Symposium will explore a broad context of forest aquatic biodiversity, ranging from descriptions of the diversity of species dependent on particular forest types to quantification and prediction of shifts in biodiversity as a result of contemporary or future factors affecting the world’s forests and the waters that drain them. Presenters from around the world will be solicited to give papers on the aquatic biota in forested systems, describing the extent of diversity in forest aquatic systems, documenting linkages to forest attributes in the context of contemporary and future issues affecting forests, and sharing innovative approaches to their conservation.
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR MAINTAINING BIODIVERSITY IN FORESTED LANDSCAPES IN THE CONTEXT OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE CUMULATIVE EFFECTS OF ANTHROPOGENIC AND NATURAL DISTURBANCES
Wildlife Habitat Ecologist, Southern Interior Forest Region, 441 Columbia Street, Kamloops, BC., V2C 2T3, Canada.
In this symposium we explore landscape-level approaches to evaluating and managing the effects of current and future stressors on biodiversity in forested ecosystems. Concerns about the ongoing loss of forest habitat to urban development and agriculture, habitat fragmentation, and the conversion of complex old natural forests to early seral managed stands and exotic species plantations are well documented. In a 21st century of expanding human influence on forested ecosystems, coupled with the projected effects of climate change on the distribution of forests, the need for modelling approaches to anticipate change, and mitigation practices to diminish the impact of these stressors on forest biodiversity has never been more urgent. Traditional consumptive uses of forest resources (e.g. timber harvesting) are expanding with increasing interest globally in biofuels and biomaterials. In addition, non-consumptive uses such as wind power installations have the potential to perforate and fragment forests with roads and early seral habitats. In this symposium we explore the tools and modelling approaches that can help predict future conditions, identify the likely impacts these changes will have on forest biodiversity individually or as spatial and temporal cumulative effects, and explore options for future desired conditions and management planning that can help diminish biodiversity loss.
THE POTENTIAL IMPACT OF INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES (IAS) ON FOREST BIODIVERSITY INTO THE FUTURE
Course Leader BSc in Land Management (Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry), Chemical and Life Sciences Dept, Waterford Institute of Technology, Cork Rd., Waterford, Co. Waterford. Ireland.
According to the UN and FAO the single biggest to biodiversity is Invasive Alien Species. With the added impacts of climate change, coupled with increasing movement of people, goods and services around the world the threat of IAS to our forests and forest biodiversity is never more poignant. We have seen firsthand the problems that these species can cause if nothing is done (eg Grey squirrel, Rhododendron) promptly to control or eradicate the species early. The challenge facing researchers and practitioners alike will be not only to control the IAS already present but to ensure early identification of new threats and take appropriate measures to remove them and thus maintain the integrity of the forests and the biodiversity within.
To this aim this symposium will examine the threat posed by IAS to forest biodiversity, revise the lessons from the past successes and mistakes and investigate whether new developments such as biocontrol, early warning systems, citizen science, and DNA barcoding have roles to play in the early identification and subsequent control of Invasive Alien Species in our forests.
USING LONG-TERM DATA TO INVESTIGATE FOREST BIODIVERSITY
Botany Department, School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland.
Biodiversity Programme Leader, Centre for Human and Ecological Sciences, Forest Research, Alice Holt Lodge, Farnham, Surrey, GU10 4LH, United Kingdom.
Forest ecosystems are dynamic but the dominant tree cover can have turn over times from many decades to centuries. This provides a challenge for research into the biodiversity of forest ecosystems which is typically run over relatively short time frames. This symposium will explore the contribution to forest biodiversity research made by long-term monitoring and palaeoecology. This research delivers long-term datasets that can be used to explore successional trends in biodiversity but issues over temporal, spatial and taxonomic resolution still need to be addressed. These datasets also provide an essential means of testing the validity of the chronosequence approach (substituting space for time) which is the most widely used technique in forest succession investigations.
BIODIVERSITY RESEARCH AND RESTORATION MANAGEMENT OF SEMI-NATURAL WOODLANDS AND HIGH CONSERVATION VALUE FOREST IN COMMERCIAL FORESTS
Project Manager, Woodlands of Ireland, Seismograph House, Rathfarnham Castle, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14, Ireland.
National Parks and Wildlife Service, Ireland.
The concept of restoration management as opposed to strict conservation management is worthy of attention as the former has received considerable focus in many countries during the past decade with respect to semi-natural woodland management, and especially in Ireland. Restoration management differs from merely conserving remnants of existing high nature conservation value forests in that factors such as increasing habitat size, connectivity with similar and other habitat types and mitigating against negative land use impacts are also taken into account. Within commercial forests identification of high conservation value areas and opportunities to enhance biodiversity value are also becoming increasingly important especially with the advent of forest certification initiatives.
FORESTS AND BIRD CONSERVATION
School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences, University College Cork, Ireland.
British Trust for Ornithology Scotland, School of Biological & Environmental Sciences, University of Stirling, Scotland
Habitat change is the single biggest threat to bird populations with vulnerable conservation status. The majority of threatened bird species across the globe are habitat specialists, and of these, more species depend on forests than on any other habitat type. Deforestation, fragmentation and other anthropogenic changes to natural and semi-natural forest habitats threaten many forest specialist birds around the world. At the same time, expansion of forests both through afforestation and through encroachment of scrub and woodland habitats following abandonment of agricultural land, constitute a threat to many specialists of open habitats. However, many areas where forest cover is now increasing have experienced significant deforestation in the past. New forests have the potential to enhance bird diversity in a wide variety of circumstances, though identifying the most effective ways of reconciling commercial and conservation agendas remains a challenge for forest managers.
This symposium will explore the opportunities for and threats to bird populations posed by forest-related habitat change, and the complementary roles of native and plantation forests in securing the conservation status of forest birds, and the contribution forest and plantation management can make to the conservation of birds typical of more open habitats.
CONSERVING NATIVE BIODIVERSITY IN FORESTS MANAGED FOR BIO-ENERGY
School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931, USA.
As the value of forests for providing a feedstock for bioenergy increases, more land will likely be converted to fast growing tree plantations or other intensively managed forest systems to increase short-term production of cellulose. Worldwide, plantation forests account for about 5% of total forest cover, but this percentage is increasing at a rate of about 2-3 million ha yr-1, particularly in some developing countries where much of the planet’s biodiversity resides. In general, plantations and other intensively managed forests support fewer plant and animal species than native forests because they are simplified in terms of tree and other plant species richness and in terms of many structural and process related forest functions. However, native biodiversity can be retained in some bioenergy forests by using careful management in all stages of establishment, tending and harvest. Key considerations for conservation biodiversity as plantation forests grow as a proportion of total world forest cover include choice of plantation tree species, harvest frequency, rotation age, and care and management of biological legacies and forest understory plant and wildlife communities. We provide background and guidance that can be used to guide future bioenergy forest management in a new era of using forests to capture and store carbon and to generate bioenergy.
KEYNOTE 1: Brockerhoff, E & Pawson, S
Risks and opportunities for biodiversity conservation in forests managed for bioenergy production.
KEYNOTE 2: Webster, C & Flaspohler, D
Influence of legacy trees in Aspen monocultures on bird diversity and stand productivity
BIODIVERSITY INDICATORS IN FOREST ECOSYSTEMS
University of Tuscia, Department for Innovation in Biological, Agro-food and Forest systems, Viterbo, Italy
Cemagref, Domaine des Barres, Nogent-sur-Vernisson, France.
Biodiversity indicators are crucial for forest resource monitoring and management. They can either account for the fate of different kinds "forest species" (e.g. indicators based on bird censuses) or the state of conservation of forest habitats, or to monitor trends in the biodiversity component as related to the sustainable management of forests (e.g. the indicators used by the Montreal and MCPFE-Forest Europe regional processes on sustainable forest management). Inside these last processes, biodiversity indicators are probably those on which consensus is the weakest – both scientifically and politically. This is why the symposium aims at discussing issues on biodiversity indicators in forest ecosystems, especially – but not exclusively – addressing the following three points:
- "testing" of forest biodiversity indicators or sets of indicators: magnitude of the relationship between the indicator and components of biodiversity (structural, compositional and functional);
- sampling schemes and operational protocols and their implications for estimating biodiversity indicators;
- "usefulness" of indicators, especially as related to decision making (political or else) and the perception of biodiversity indicators.
CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT FOR INVERTEBRATES IN FOREST LITTER AND WOODY DEBRIS
Professor, Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Canada.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Biological Earth and Environmental Science, Unviersity College Cork, Ireland.
Invertebrates are a key component of forest biodiversity, with species appealing to many, in their own right, as highly desirable components of the natural world. Furthermore, they fulfil vital roles in ecosystem function, including central functions in decomposition, nutrient cycling and terrestrial food webs. Therefore, understanding the interactions between these organisms and their environment will help elucidate and manage the impact of forestry activities on forest function. The latter is a matter of particular importance, given the expected demand for forest products, ecosystem services and recreational opportunities into the future.
Forests are typically managed at stand and landscape levels, however invertebrates are also influenced by factors acting at much smaller scales. Furthermore, there is increasing evidence that at these small scales stands are homogenised to some extent by modern forest practices, likely reducing the ability of managed stands to sustain their characteristic organismal diversity. This symposium will focus on research at scales relevant to the ecological requirements of invertebrates in litter and woody debris and address how their needs can be included in policy for sustainable forest management. This symposium will bring together leading researchers in invertebrate ecology, and litter and deadwood dynamics, from across the globe, representing boreal and temperate forest ecosystems and exhibiting a range of management intensity. Each speaker will make management recommendations to aid the inclusion of invertebrates into forest policy which aims to maintain ecosystem health and biological diversity.