Biodiversity in Forest Ecosystems


To promote incorporating biodiversity (synonym for biological diversity) considerations into forest management plans and policies. 


Forest management programs, policies, and practices across public and private forest land in the United States.  


The Society of American Foresters (SAF) values biodiversity and supports and promotes consideration of biodiversity as part of forest management plans, practices, and policies. Conserving and enhancing biodiversity through responsible, science-based, and adaptive forest management practices is a core principle of sustainability (The Montreal Process 2015). Biologically diverse forest ecosystems are better positioned to withstand the effects of climate change, wildfire, pests, pathogens, and invasive species (Thompson et al. 2009, Isbell et al 2015, D’Amato and Palik 2021). Active forest management is a pivotal tool toward sustaining or restoring native species and their habitats, including the compositional, functional, and structural diversity of forests at various spatial and temporal scales. Managing for biodiversity reflects important choices, such as the degree of biodiversity sought, the kind of biodiversity (genetic, species, and ecosystem), the spatial and temporal scales to be considered, and the objectives of different landowners.

Approved: October 2023

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Biodiversity Briefer
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