Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub


    This paper reviews the concepts of ecosystem resilience, resistance, and stability in forests and their relationship to biodiversity, with particular reference to climate change. The report is a direct response to a request by the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD, in decision IX/51, to explore the links between biodiversity, forest ecosystem resilience, and climate change. Forests are emphasized because they are major reservoirs of terrestrial biodiversity and contain about 50% of the global terrestrial biomass carbon stocks (IPCC 2007, FAO 2000). Emissions from deforestation and degradation remain a significant (ca. 18-20%) source of annual greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere (IPCC 2007), and therefore the conservation, appropriate management and restoration of forests will make a significant contribution to climate change mitigation. Further, forests have a certain natural capacity to adapt to climate change because of their biodiversity. Some animals have important roles in ecosystem processes and organization, such as pollination, seed dispersal, and herbivory, and the loss of these species has clear negative consequences for ecosystem resilience (e.g., Elmqvist et al. 2003). Here, however, we limit our discussion to botanical aspects of forests, with the exception of some discussion of insect pests and diseases as these influence forest resilience and stability.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Thompson, I.; Mackey, B.; McNulty, S.; Mosseler, A. 2009. Forest Resilience, Biodiversity, and Climate Change: a synthesis of the biodiversity/resilience/stability relationship in forest ecosystems. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Montreal. Technical Series no. 43. 1-67.

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page