Do managed plantations result in monocultures that reduce biodiversity?

Wood Energy December 15, 2009 Print Friendly and PDF
Some forest ecosystems exist naturally in monoculture stands. For example, yellow pine species in the southeastern US have existed in pure monoculture stands for centuries because they are the first species to repopulate a site after a disturbance (hurricane, fire, etc.). With the exclusion of natural fire, this process has changed. Some wildlife (such as deer and turkey) prefer such habitats for their specific needs. Some management practices (such as fertilizer, controlled burning, thinning) may promote grasses and herbaceous plants that have a positive impact on biodiversity. If surrounding forests vary in their management intensity, biodiversity can be maintained on a larger geographic scale. This FAQ was adapted from Wood to Energy and used with permission.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.