Ministry of Forests

Cariboo Region Research Section


Management Concepts for Landscape Ecology

 

Introduction

The new Forest Practices Code challenges managers of provincial forests to ensure that biological diversity is maintained. The Biodiversity Guidebook (B.C. Ministry of Forests and B.C. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks 1995) recommends a process to manage for biodiversity within targeted social and economic constraints and provides guidelines for specific stand and landscape attributes. However, it is primarily a "how-to" book for applied landscape ecology, and as such does not dwell on the fundamental scientific concepts of spatial patterns and structures and the functioning of the landscape as an ecosystem (Bell 1994).

This extension note is the first in a series that will heighten awareness of landscape ecology concepts. The series is designed to provide the necessary background information to explain an ecologically based approach to management, and thus help managers to use the Biodiversity Guidebook. Understanding the principles of landscape ecology can improve a manager's ability to exercise professional judgement during landscape-level planning and can also enhance the exchange of information between planning team members, stakeholders, and the public.

The biological concepts documented as individual notes in the series include:

Each extension note will summarize the topic's main points and its relationship to the Forest Practices Code and the Biodiversity Guidebook, and discuss associated management approaches. The series is based on Voller and Harrison's The Ecological Principles of ForestManagement (in prep.). This work provides concepts, definitions, and principles which aid in understanding biodiversity management.'

Framed within the context of landscape-level planning, this first note lays the groundwork by introducing some important management concepts that will run throughout the entire series. This provides an overview of the hierarchy of spatial planning scales and the role of the historical range of variability in determining landscape design objectives.

'The Original chapters are a good reference for those wanting a more "in-depth" understanding.

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