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Media release 26 July 2002
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Special Issue of Silva Fennica on Disturbance Dynamics in Boreal Forests

Considering human activity in the forest in the framework of disturbance ecology may provide us with a new conceptual model to utilize forests on a more sustainable basis. For developing new management strategies, we need knowledge of forest disturbance and successional processes, population dynamics of forest-dwelling species, and the interaction between these two. These issues are addressed in the articles of Silva Fennica Vol. 36/1, "Disturbance Dynamics in Boreal Forests: Defining the Ecological Basis of Restoration and Management of Biodiversity". The articles are based on presentations held at the international conference in Kuhmo, eastern Finland, on August 2001.

In forest ecosystems, disturbances are important for biodiversity because they largely determine the characteristics of the habitat mosaic, which, in turn, affect the population dynamics of all forest-dwelling species. In natural boreal forests, disturbances are caused by such factors as fires, storms, insects, pathogens, floods, and animals like moose and beaver. However, in many parts of the boreal zone human actions are replacing natural disturbances at an accelerating rate.

Human modification of forest structure to meet management goals, such as production of timber, has often been successful in creating resource flow stability. Yet, in many cases, this has happened at the expense of biological diversity. Concerns about the ecological consequences of forest management have combined with increased understanding of the important role of natural disturbances in forest ecosystems and led to several approaches to sustainable forest management based on natural disturbances or natural variability of forests. According to these, applying management methods that create habitat availability sufficiently similar to that produced by natural disturbances enhances maintaining native biodiversity.

Publication:
Disturbance Dynamics in Boreal Forests: Defining the Ecological Basis of Restoration and Management of Biodiversity. Silva Fennica Vol 36(1), 2002.

 

For more information, please contact:
Silva Fennica, Unioninkatu 40 A, FIN-00170 Helsinki, tel. (09) 857 051, fax (09) 625 308, e-mail: silva.fennica@metla.fi URL http://www.metla.fi/silvafennica/

Silva Fennica is a quarterly, scientific journal on forest research published internationally. It covers all the topics and disciplines related to the forests, forestry and for-est nature. The articles are peer-reviewed. The journal is published jointly by the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) and the Finnish Society of Forest Science.


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