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Building on the last "new" thing: exploring the compatibility of ecological and adaptation silviculture

Formally Refereed
Authors: Anthony W. D'Amato, Brian J. Palik
Year: 2020
Type: Scientific Journal
Station: Northern Research Station
Source: Canadian Journal of Forest Research


Sustaining the structure, function, and services provided by forest ecosystems in the face of changing climate and disturbance regimes represents a grand challenge for forest managers and policy makers. To address this challenge, a range of adaptation approaches have been proposed centered on conferring ecosystem resilience and adaptive capacity; however, considerable uncertainty exists regarding how to translate these broad and often theoretical adaptation frameworks to on-the-ground practice. Complicating this issue has been movement away, in some cases, from other recent advances in forest management, namely ecological silviculture strategies that often focus on restoration. In this paper, we highlight the areas of compatibility and conflict between these two frameworks by reviewing the four principles of ecological silviculture (continuity, complexity and diversity, timing, and context) from the perspective of global change adaptation. We conclude that given many commonalities between the outcomes of ecological silviculture and conditions conferring adaptive capacity, the four principles remain a relevant starting point for guiding operationalization of often theoretical adaptation strategies.


variable retention, biological legacies, variable density thinning, ecosystem complexity, emulation of natural disturbance regimes


D'Amato, Anthony W.; Palik, Brian J. 2020. Building on the last "new" thing: exploring the compatibility of ecological and adaptation silviculture. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 51: 172-180.