Biological diversity—"biodiversity" for short—refers to the variability among living organisms from all sources. Canada’s biodiversity is rich, but in some areas it is also under threat of damage or destruction.
Human population growth, economic activities and climate change are just some of the factors that threaten biodiversity. Studying these factors and predicting how they might influence different species over time are key to maintaining the health of the Canadian landscape.
Forests are a store of biodiversity, providing a broad range of habitats for approximately two-thirds of all Canadian species.
By keeping global ecosystems functioning, biodiversity [379 kb PDF] generates goods and services essential to human well-being. These ecosystem services include providing food and commercial goods such as timber, controlling pests and diseases, and maintaining the quality of air, soils and water.
Maintaining biodiversity has become an important forest management objective in Canada. In addition to establishing protected areas, such as parks, research is underway to support the development of best management practices. Governments and industry regularly incorporate this new knowledge into forest policies and forest management plans.