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IUFRO The Advocate for Forest Science.
The main objective of the Working Party will be to encourage and support the co-operation among forest scientists in order to quantify the relationship between biodiversity and forest ecosystem functioning. Special attention will be given to the ecology and dynamics of dead wood dependent species at multiple trophic levels and the sustainable management of forests.
The world is faced with an unprecedented loss of biodiversity, mainly due to human activities. Natural and planted forests in the boreal, temperate and tropical zones offer a wide array of habitats for plants, animals and micro-organisms, collectively representing the majority of terrestrial biodiversity. Forest biodiversity is rapidly being lost due to deforestation, fragmentation and degradation of forests. While the dramatic extinction rate of forest species is undoubtedly an important conservation concern, there is a potentially equally dramatic degradation of forest ecosystem properties and functioning. In the past forest loss has been a key focus, however forest degradation, in particular the loss of deadwood has had a significant impact on global biodiversity. Most of the scientific evidence for relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem function have been provided by observations and experiments on grasslands communities whereas few relevant studies have examined complex forest ecosystems. Greater efforts at testing the biodiversity – ecosystem functioning hypothesis in forest constitute a clear need for future investigation.
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