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Biodiversity Indicators for Sustainable Forestry: Simplifying Complexity

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Maintaining biodiversity is a primary goal of sustainable forestry. However, maintaining “life in all its forms” can be daunting to forest managers. “Biodiversity,” as commonly defined, is simply too complex to measure or monitor. The only practical solution is to use indicators. In theory, good indicators are simple to measure and correlate with many other elements of biodiversity so they do not also have to be measured. All sustainable forestry programs use indicators; however, there is much confusion and frustration among forest managers and stakeholders about their usefulness. The primary limitation to selecting effective indicators has to do with process, not science. Here, we propose a framework for selecting biodiversity indictors that will better inform decisionmakers and stakeholders.

Keywords: biodiversity; indicators; sustainable forestry

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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