Forests are entire ecosystems and, as such, they comprise a wide diversity of species. From the perspective of a manager seeking an economic return from a forest, some of these species are more desirable than others. Trees provide timber, with some being more valuable than others. They may also provide a range of other products, including flowers, fruit and bark. In a few cases, other parts of the tree may be used, such as the traditional use of cedar roots for weaving by Aboriginal people of western North America, or the use of foliage to provide essential oils. Other species in the forest may also provide products, including bamboo, rattan, and a variety of trees, shrubs and herbs. Many fungi, part of the decomposer cycle within the forest, may provide edible fruiting bodies.
Many agents can disrupt the productive functions of a forest, some natural and some anthropogenic. In this module, we will look at these agents, and how they can be managed. At all times, it is important to remember that a healthy, natural forest will always contain dead plant materials. Indeed such materials are an essential part of the ecosystem, and also represent an important carbon store (a topic discussed in the next module). In plantation forests, there is much more of a focus on keeping all productive trees healthy, and diseased trees may be removed fairly quickly in order to maintain the overall health of the stand.
2.2.1 What is forest health?
2.2.2 Forest disturbances
2.2.3 Bark beetles: A case study
2.2.4 Air pollution and forests
2.2.5 Making a diagnosis
2.2.6 Indicators of ecosystem health and vitality: An Australian example
- Chapter 5 of the course textbook:
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- Butin, H. (1995). Tree diseases and disorders: Causes, biology and control in forest and amenity trees. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN-13: 978-0198549321
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- MacCracken, J.G. (1997). The forest health problem. Wildlife Society Bulletin 25(4): 760-761.
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- Paine, T.D. (Ed.) (2006). Invasive forest insects, introduced forest trees, and altered ecosystems: Ecological pest management in global forests of a changing world. The Netherlands: Springer Verlag. ISBN: 978-1-4020-5161-6 (Print) 978-1-4020-5162-3 (Online). Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F1-4020-5162-X
- Perera, A.H., Buse, L.J., & Weber, M.G. (Eds.). (2008). Emulating natural forest landscape disturbances. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN-10: 0231129173; ISBN-13: 978-0231129176.
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- Sinclair, W.A., & Lyon, H.H. (2005). Diseases of trees and shrubs (2nd). Ithaca: Cornell University Press. ISBN-10: 0801443717; ISBN-13: 978-0801443718
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- Staebler, R.N. (1994). Forest health: Everyone wants it, but what is it? Journal of Forestry 92(7): 5.
- Strouts, R.G., & Winter, T.G. (1994). Diagnosis of ill-health in trees. London: HMSO. ISBN: 0117529192 9780117529199
- Van Driesche, R.G., LaForest, J.H., Bargeron, C.T., Reardon, R.C., & Herlihy, M. (2013). Forest pest insects in North America: A photographic guide. Morgantown: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service. Retrieved from http://www.forestpests.org/vd/index.html and http://www.researchgate.net/publication/273060424_Forest_Pest_Insects_in_North_America_A_Photographic_Guide
- Wainhouse, D. (2005). Ecological methods in forest pest management. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN-10: 0198505647; ISBN-13: 978-0198505648
- Watt, A.D., Stork, N.E., & Hunter, M.D. (1997). Forests and insects. London: Chapman & Hall. ISBN 978-0-412-79110-9
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