Canadian Forest Service Publications

Forest Resilience, Biodiversity, and Climate change: A synthesis of the biodiversity/resilience/stability relationship in forest ecosystems. 2009. Thompson, Ian; Mackey, B.G.; McNulty, S.; Mosseler, A. CBD Technical Series 43. 66 p.

Year: 2009

Available from: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 30139

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Plain Language Summary

Resilience is the capacity of a forest to withstand (absorb) external pressures and return, over time, to its pre-disturbance state. When viewed over an appropriate time span, a resilient forest ecosystem is able to maintain its ‘identity’ in terms of taxonomic composition, structure, ecological functions, and process rates. The available scientific evidence strongly supports the conclusion that the capacity of forests to resist change, or recover following disturbance, is dependent on biodiversity at multiple scales. Maintaining and restoring biodiversity in forests promotes their resilience to human-induced pressures and is therefore an essential ‘insurance policy’ and safeguard against expected climate change impacts. Biodiversity should be considered at all scales (stand, landscape, ecosystem, bioregional) and in terms of all elements (genes, species, communities). Increasing the biodiversity in planted and semi-natural forests will have a positive effect on their resilience capacity and often on their productivity (including carbon storage).

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