Salvage Logging and Its Ecological Consequences

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Island Press, Jul 16, 2012 - Science - 246 pages
Salvage logging—removing trees from a forested area in the wake of a catastrophic event such as a wildfire or hurricane—is highly controversial. Policymakers and those with an economic interest in harvesting trees typically argue that damaged areas should be logged so as to avoid “wasting” resources, while many forest ecologists contend that removing trees following a disturbance is harmful to a variety of forest species and can interfere with the natural process of ecosystem recovery.

Salvage Logging and Its Ecological Consequences brings together three leading experts on forest ecology to explore a wide range of issues surrounding the practice of salvage logging. They gather and synthesize the latest research and information about its economic and ecological costs and benefits, and consider the impacts of salvage logging on ecosystem processes and biodiversity. The book examines

• what salvage logging is and why it is controversial
• natural and human disturbance regimes in forested ecosystems
• differences between salvage harvesting and traditional timber harvesting
• scientifically documented ecological impacts of salvage operations
• the importance of land management objectives in determining appropriate post-disturbance interventions

Brief case studies from around the world highlight a variety of projects, including operations that have followed wildfires, storms, volcanic eruptions, and insect infestations. In the final chapter, the authors discuss policy management implications and offer prescriptions for mitigating the impacts of future salvage harvesting efforts.

Salvage Logging and Its Ecological Consequences is a “must-read” volume for policymakers, students, academics, practitioners, and professionals involved in all aspects of forest management, natural resource planning, and forest conservation.
 

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Contents

The Challege of LargeScale Natural Disturbances and Salvage Logging
1
Natural Disturbance of Forest Ecosystems
17
The Effects of Salvage Logging on Ecological Phenomena
45
Case Studies of Salvage Logging and Its Ecological Impacts
83
Reducing the Ecological Impacts of Salvage Logging
126
Toward Better Management of Naturally Disturbed Forests
151
Glossary
171
References
183
Index
221
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About the author (2012)

David B. Lindenmayer is professor of ecology and conservation science in the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University in Canberra. Philip J. Burton is manager of northern projects at the Pacific Forestry Centre, Canadian Forest Service, in Prince George, British Columbia. Jerry F. Franklin is professor of ecosystem analysis in the College of Forest Resources at the University of Washington in Seattle.

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