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Title: Monitoring of Biodiversity Indicators in Boreal Forests: A Need for Improved Focus

Author: Thompson, Ian D.;

Date: 2006

Source: In: Aguirre-Bravo, C.; Pellicane, Patrick J.; Burns, Denver P.; and Draggan, Sidney, Eds. 2006. Monitoring Science and Technology Symposium: Unifying Knowledge for Sustainability in the Western Hemisphere Proceedings RMRS-P-42CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 267-273

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: The general principles of scale and coarse and fine filters have been widely accepted, but management agencies and industry are still grappling with the question of what to monitor to detect changes in forest biodiversity after forest management. Part of this problem can be attributed to the lack of focused questions for monitoring associated with an absence of null models and predicted effects, a certain level of disconnect between research and management, and recognition that, in the case of forest management, monitoring is research. Considerable research from the past decade has not been adequately synthesized to answer important questions, such as which species might be the best indicators of change, what is the importance, if any, of subtle changes in community structures, and causes of observed changes. A disproportionate research emphasis has been placed on community ecology, and mostly on a few groups of arthropods, amphibians, migratory songbirds, and small mammals, while other species, including soil organisms, lichens, bats, raptors, and larger mammals remain less well-known. Hence, our ability to deal with questions of persistence is limited, and demographic research on key species is urgently needed. Management agencies need to clearly articulate null models for monitoring, focus fine-scale monitoring on key species in key habitats and areas to answer clear questions, and have a protocol in place to adapt management strategies to changes observed. Finally, agencies must have some way to determine and define when a significant change has occurred and to predict persistence of species; this too should flow from a proper null model.

Keywords: monitoring, assessment, sustainability, Western Hemisphere, sustainable management, ecosystem resources, biodiversity indicators, boreal forests

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Thompson, Ian D. 2006. Monitoring of Biodiversity Indicators in Boreal Forests: A Need for Improved Focus. In: Aguirre-Bravo, C.; Pellicane, Patrick J.; Burns, Denver P.; and Draggan, Sidney, Eds. 2006. Monitoring Science and Technology Symposium: Unifying Knowledge for Sustainability in the Western Hemisphere Proceedings RMRS-P-42CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 267-273

 


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