A universal challenge in managing for forest biodiversity, is that much effort is spent conserving ‘things’ that are not really ‘things’. For example, biodiversity, ecosystem, species, biological integrity, and habitat. These are integral concepts in conservation but none are tangible ‘things’ that can be held in the hand while walking through the forest. A lack of knowledge on ecosystem functions and associated species, and the highly diverse landscape in British Columbia add to the challenge. Consequently, managers are confronted with a number of issues. This website discusses five of the most important issues:
The effects of fragmentation on populations should be carefully monitored and may be lessened with new learning gained from research and adaptive management. New knowledge may also allow for greater understanding of natural disturbance in the forests of British Columbia. Some challenges, however, will remain regardless of the extent of new knowledge. Scale is one such issue, as is the problem of location – universal laws are few and what works in one area, may not in another. Ultimately, knowledge limitations will always be the largest barrier that managers face.
A further issue, one that is receiving growing attention, is that of climate change. It is thought that global warming is having large impacts on species and ecosystems. Managing for biodiversity in harvested forests requires knowledge on how our changing climate has impacted species and ecological processes in the past, and how things may change in the future. Birds provide a good study species for investigating climate change impacts because they are relatively easy to see and hear, and so a relatively large amount of data on bird movement and reproduction has been collected over the past hundred years or so.