Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The forest, its biodiversity, and human intrusion

07.11.2008
The forest is managed and used by humans to produce energy, build, regulate certain ecological processes (floods, erosion), provide recreational areas, etc.

It is also an important reservoir for biological diversity, a key element in tomorrow’s forest productivity. Cemagref’s “Forest, nature, and biodiversity” project, conducted as part of a partnership with the National Forestry Office (Office National des Forêts; ONF) and the Nature Reserves of France (Réserves Naturelles de France; RNF), aims to compare the biodiversity of harvested and unharvested forests to determine the response of biodiversity to forest harvesting. This approach, hitherto unheard of in France, should provide tools to better manage forest resources.

On the gene, species, or ecosystem scale, biological diversity is one of the factors the forest ecosystem uses to adapt to constricting global changes, particularly climate changes. While in this sense it can condition the very perpetuity of the forest, biodiversity can be profoundly modified by how the forest is managed. Notably because of the reduction in the quantity and quality of dead wood in harvested zones, 20%–40% of forest life forms dependent on this dead wood are today threatened with extinction in several European countries. In France, with a forest cover of 15.3 million hectares (27.1% of the land surface), forest bird populations may have diminished by 18% between 1989 and 2004.

- Establishing a “zero condition” for forest biodiversity in harvested forests

Taking biological diversity into account in sectorial policies and management choices is a priority outlined in the Convention on Biological Diversity, ratified by France in 1994. However, the tools and data necessary to quantify the impact of forest harvesting on biodiversity have not been sufficiently developed to date, especially given the high stakes involved. To offset this deficiency and test the relevant indicators, Cemagref scientists in Nogent-sur-Vernisson are developing a statistical approach based on field data measuring the response of the biodiversity in seven different groups of species (animals, plants, fungi) to forest harvesting. Conducted in collaboration with the ONF and the RNFs, the study compares harvested and unharvested zones:
- untouched by any human intervention for at least 20 years 1
- belonging to the same forest areas in metropolitan France, located in both the lowlands and the mountains. This project is a first in France, where there has been no comparative study of this size since the 1960s.

Within the Auberive-Chalmessin (Haute-Marne), Fontainebleau (Seine et Marne), and Ventron (Haut-Rhin) forest areas, 61 sample plots were chosen in spring 2008, then described in detail (quantity of dead wood, species composition, tree stand size, etc.). The inventory and analysis of the flora and fauna are continuing today, so that a true “zero condition” of biodiversity can be established by comparing harvested zones with those that have evolved naturally in each forest area. The moss, mushroom, vascular plant, insect, bird, and bat species are being inventoried by networks of naturalists from the ONF and the RNF as well as by Cemagref’s scientists. The field data will then be processed statistically and modeled. This work on the three forest areas forms a pilot project designed to validate the work methods. In the near future, Cemagref, the ONF and the RNF hope to extend this inventory to 20 forest areas and enlarge the project’s scientific partnerships.

- Indicators of the response to disturbances

By the end of the project, the comparison of harvested and unharvested forests should make it possible to identify the factor(s) that can best explain the variations in biodiversity observed: the harvesting itself, the structure of the forest stand, the quantity of dead wood (presence of cavities, microhabitats), and the characteristics of unharvested forests. The project therefore aims to test the relevance of the different indicators of sustainable forest management to determine the proportion of biodiversity that these indicators represent most faithfully, including the optimal intensity levels and management conditions. Integrating unharvested forests into the project will make it possible to demonstrate the effect of factors that could not have been considered in an analysis limited only to harvested forests.

Marie Signoret | alfa
Further information:
http://www.cemagref.fr
http://www.cemagref.fr/Informations/Presse/InfMediaEV/im88/im88_rech1_gb.htm

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht A new indicator for marine ecosystem changes: the diatom/dinoflagellate index
21.08.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

nachricht Value from wastewater
16.08.2017 | Hochschule Landshut

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Treating arthritis with algae

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Witnessing turbulent motion in the atmosphere of a distant star

23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>