In this module, we deal with two further criteria of sustainable forest management, the maintenance of forest ecosystem productivity (Topic 1) and the maintenance of forests’ contribution to global carbon cycles (Topic 2).
Forest ecosystem productivity can be considered to be the net effect of the soils, climate and ecosystem dynamics at a site. As you will learn, there are also other factors involved, and some of these can be altered by human interventions. Climate change is also altering these, resulting in considerable uncertainty over future ecosystem productivity. In many cases, productivity is taken for granted, and no attempt is made to increase ecosystem productivity. However, in plantation forests, treatments such as fertilization may be necessary to either boost productivity or to maintain it.