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Biodiversity in forests

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Biodiversity types.
    1. Genetic diversity.
    2. Species diversity.
    3. Landscape diversity.
  3. Inventory challenges.
  4. Types of biological surveys.
  5. Biodiversity inventory strategies.
  6. Steps for developing a biodiversity inventory.
  7. Linking with other inventories.

Interest in biodiversity began in the mid-1980s with the Biodiversity Symposium, held in Washington, DC, sponsored by the National Academy of Science. Within increasing human populations and rising demands for resources and living space, the need to conserve biological diversity rose to the forefront with the development of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1992. The purpose of the Convention is to conserve biological diversity, promote the sustainable use of its components, and encourage equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. Biodiversity inventories provide the building blocks upon which to carry out the intent of CBD and to meet local needs. Using inventories as the base, industry and other development opportunities should incorporate biodiversity within their management practices.

[...] Forest certi?cation systems resulting from agreements in the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), Agenda 21, include criteria, indicators, or principles that address biodiversity as a critical component to sustainable development. In order to meet the above requirements, parties need inventories of biological diversity. The objectives of biological diversity inventories may be to: * Identify priority conservation areas * Provide the necessary baseline data for monitoring the effects of anthropogenic disturbance or climate change on the biota * Detect changes in ecological diversity that exceed the range of natural variation, across a range of spatial and temporal scales * Provide an ?early warning' of impending irreversible changes * Provide reports to the public on the status of ecological diversity in a timely and accessible manner * Meet national and international commitments for monitoring biodiversity * Provide data consistent with the requirements of forest certi?cation programs. [...]

[...] The following options for indicators are in order of preference Best estimates: using genealogy to predict genetic or character richness Popular estimates: using species richness Practical estimates: using higher taxa or environmental variables as surrogates Relationship among estimates: a scale of surrogacy for mapping more of biodiversity value at lower cost. To be effective, indicators should be: * Readily quanti?able * Easily assessed in the ?eld * Repeatable and subject to minimal observer bias, and cost-effective * Ecologically meaningful that is, to be representative of the taxic variation, microhabitats, and trophic diversity in the area and in close association with, and identi?cation of, the conditions and responses of other species. [...]

[...] Landscape-level monitoring at the ecoregion level is often dependent on acquiring the appropriate GIS-based vegetation maps. Monitoring can serve as a warning system, alerting managers that change in biodiversity may require changes in management regimes to ensure protection of scarce resources. Monitoring involves the repeated collection and analysis of observations and measurements to evaluate changes in populations of species and environmental conditions. If there is the possibility that a sampling area may again be visited again, permanently mark the plots for re-measurement. [...]

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