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Rationale and methods for conserving biodiversity in plantation forests

Literature: Journal Articles

Hartley, M.J. 2002, "Rationale and methods for conserving biodiversity in plantation forests", Forest Ecology and Management, vol. 155, no. 1-3, pp. 81-95.

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Corresponding Author:


  • Department of Wildlife Ecology, 5755 Nutting Hall, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469, USA


Forest Ecology and Management

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  • When compared to degraded lands, developed lands, or areas of intensive industrial agriculture, plantations can positively contribute to biodiversity conservation.
  • However, when monoculture stands of exotic trees, or native trees not typically found in single-species stands are used for plantations, they have been found to have impoverished flora and fauna compared with natural forest.
  • This author describes the importance of biodiversity conservation as a major component of plantation design and management.
  • The author asserts that improvements to biodiversity can be made without sacrificing fiber production.
  • He suggests: in the form of species selection favoring native versus exotic; landscape-level planning for juxtaposing stands with diverse age and composition; leaving large-diameter trees standing in clumps or as individuals when harvesting; leaving buffer strips of natural vegetation around riparian areas and around the plantation; encouraging mixed species verses monoculture; reducing the use of herbicide, scarification, plowing, or other damaging methods in site-preparation (except for cases when fire is appropriate for site-preparation); thinning earlier and heavier than normal; and overall managing for heterogeneity in the system.

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