Resource Details

Consequences of broadscale timber plantations for biodiversity in cleared forest landscapes of tropical and subtropical Australia

Literature: Journal Articles Available at NO COST

Kanowski, J., C. P. Catterall, and G. W. Wardell-Johnson. 2005. Consequences of broadscale timber plantations for biodiversity in cleared rainforest landscapes of tropical and subtropical Australia. For. Ecol. Manage. 208: 359–372

Contact Info

John Kanowski, ph 61 7 3875 3823, fax 61 7 3875 7459, email:


  • Rainforest Cooperative Research Centre
  • Environmental Sciences, Griffith University, Nathan 4111, Australia
  • Natural and Rural Systems Management, University of Queensland, Gatton 4343, Australia. 


Species Info

  • Araucaria cunninghamii
  • Toona ciliata
  • A. bidwillii
  • Agathis robusta


  • Australia has seen a general shift in timber production from natural forests to plantations. These plantations may have both positive and negative effects on biodiversity.
  • The authors reviewed the literature and compiled a list of such consequences.   The authors then used the list to assess plantation scenarios proposed for cleared rainforest landscapes in tropical and subtropical Australia.
  • The scenarios were monocultures of: (i) hoop pine, (ii) exotic pine and (iii) eucalypts; (iv) mixed species plantations; (v) a mosaic of monoculture plantations; and (vi) a mosaic of plantations and ecological restoration plantings.
  • Of these scenarios, plantations of eucalypts and exotic pines have the least positive consequences for biodiversity.
  • The three scenarios based on plantations of rainforest trees have similar, moderately positive consequences for biodiversity.
  •  A mosaic of plantations and restoration plantings has the most positive consequences for biodiversity in cleared rainforest landscapes.
  • All scenarios may have negative impacts on biodiversity conservation if plantations replace remnant forest, provide habitat for weeds, or the tree species used in plantations or their genes escape into native forests.

Geographical Region

  • Other-Australia/Pacific
  • Country

  • Australia
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