Canadian Forest Service Publications

Biodiversity and ecosystem services: lessons from nature to improve management of planted forests for REDD-plus. 2014. Thompson, I.D.; Ikabe, K.; Parrota, J.A.; Brockerhoff, E.; Jactel, H.; Forrester, D.I.; Taki, H. Biodiversity Conservation. 23:2613-2635.

Year: 2014

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 35569

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.107/s10531-01444-0736-0

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Planted forests are increasingly contributing wood products and other ecosystem services at a global scale. These forests will be even more important as carbon markets develop and REDD-plus forest programs (forests used specifically to reduce atmospheric emissions of CO2 through deforestation and forest degradation) become common. Restoring degraded and deforested areas with long-rotation planted forests can be accomplished in a manner that enhances carbon storage and other key ecosystem services. Knowledge from natural systems and understanding the functioning novel of ecosystems can be instructive for planning and restoring future forests. Here we summarize information pertaining to the mechanisms by which biodiversity functions to provide ecosystem services including: production, pest control, pollination, resilience, nutrient cycling, seed dispersal, and water quality and quantity and suggest options to improve planted forest management, especially for REDD-plus.

Plain Language Summary

We examined ways in which management of planted forests can be improved, especially in the tropics, based on the functioning of natural ecosystems. We summarize how biodiversity in forests maintains resilience, forest functioning, and ecosystem services including plant growth, pest control, pollination, nutrient cycling, seed dispersal, and water quality and quantity. We suggest several management options can easily be employed in planted forests to increase forest functioning, such as increasing species mix, planting close to natural forests, leaving residual deadwood, encouraging litter accumulation and reducing use of species with high water demand. We also encourage the use of selection harvesting and reduced impact logging in temperate and tropical forests to maintain water quality and quantity. These considerations are important because of the increasing global contribution of planted forests to wood products and other ecosystem services. Planted forests will become more important as carbon markets develop and REDD-plus forest programs become common (where forests are used specifically to mitigate atmospheric emissions of CO2).