Native biodiversity and the impact of harvesting on farm forests

Pawson, Steve
February 2006
New Zealand Tree Grower;Feb2006, Vol. 27 Issue 1, p25
The article deals with the issue of biodiversity preservation in New Zealand's forest stands. Clearfelling is the dominant harvesting system in New Zealand, which immediately changes the microclimate from a protected cool shady forest interior to an open habitat subject to the extremes of temperature and wind. The most prominent change in this disturbed post-harvest landscape is the rapid colonisation by exotic species of herbs and grasses that are adapted to harsh environments. However, species diversity declines sharply a few years after harvest as the forest-adapted species cannot maintain successful breeding populations. A more beneficial method that is less subject to the vagaries of chance dispersal is to provide some form of continuity of forest cover.


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