Faulty indications? (Journal extracts).IT IS difficult to judge whether forests are being managed in an ecologically sustainable way and impossible to measure and monitor the effects of forest management practices on all forest species.
Biological indicators or surrogates, are increasingly being used to assess and monitor biodiversity or ecological change. They include species or guilds of species, and structure-based indicators such as the structural complexity of forests, connectivity of fragments and heterogeneity.
But biological indicators have their limitations, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. a review by ecologists Drs David Lindenmayer, Chris Margules and Daniel Botkin.
Other scientists may disagree, but Lindenmayer and his colleagues argue that despite their intuitive appeal, the use of indicator species in conservation management can be misleading or fail altogether.
For example, the virtual elimination of the American chestnut as a dominant canopy tree in the mid-Atlantic forests of the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. , by the 1930s, due to fungal blight, has apparently led to no extinctions or grave threat to survival of other species, including the chestnut-eating gray squirrel gray squirrel
A common squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) of eastern North America, having grayish or blackish fur. .
The scientists suggest an urgent need to test relationships between the presence and abundance of potential indicator species and other species or ecological processes, before we rely on them. In the meantime Adv. 1. in the meantime - during the intervening time; "meanwhile I will not think about the problem"; "meantime he was attentive to his other interests"; "in the meantime the police were notified"
meantime, meanwhile , they believe that structure-based (spatial) indicators make better indicators of biodiversity in forests.
They also advocate an adaptive management Adaptive management
An approach to management of natural resources that emphasizes how little is known about the dynamics of ecosystems and that as more is learned management will evolve and improve. approach in which ongoing forest management practices, such as logging, are treated as large-scale experiments from which managers can gain further knowledge and so improve the effectiveness and sustainability of management strategies.
Lindenmayer DB AAargutes CR and Botkin DB (2000) Indicators of biodiversity for ecologically sustainable forest management Sustainable forest management (SFM) is the management of forests according to the principles of sustainable development. It is also the current culmination in a progression of basic forest management concepts preceded by Sustainable forestry and sustainable yield forestry . Conservation Biology conservation biology
The branch of biology that deals with the effects of humans on the environment and with the conservation of biological diversity. , 14:941-950.