Conservation and management of forest complexity and biodiversity

Susanna Nocentini


The definition of sustainable management models aimed at forest biodiversity conservation must be based on the analysis of the complex interactions that characterize forest ecosystems. These interactions cross multiple time and space scales and are strongly influenced by management. A solid and coherent theoretical framework is necessary because any proposal regarding natural resource management must receive consensus from all the stakeholders. To conserve forest complexity and biodiversity, management options should be differentiated in time and space and all those elements that connect different scales should be preserved. Planning is a useful instrument for the ecological, economic and social sustainability of forest management because it increases the time and space scales of reference. As an example of the potentiality of forest planning different coppice management alternatives are examined. Coppices are forest systems which have been strongly simplified by human exploitation. Appropriate planning, based on the distribution of the different management alternatives in time and space, can create a mosaic of diversified structures and processes, thus contributing not only to biodiversity conservation but also to the conservation of the many different silvicultural techniques that are part of the traditional and cultural heritage of Italian forestry.


biodiversity; forest planning; space and time scale; coppice management.

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