When is a forest a forest? Forest Concepts and definitions in the era of forest and landscape restoration

Chazdon, R.L., P.H.S. Brancalion, L. Laestadius, A. Bennett-Curry, K. Buckingham, C. Kumar, J. Moll-Rocek, V.I.C. Guimaraes and S.J. Wilson

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We present a historical overview of forest concepts and definitions, linking these changes with distinct perspectives and management objectives. Policies dealing with a broad range of forest issues are often based on definitions created for the purpose of assessing global forest stocks, which do not distinguish between natural and planted forests or reforests, and which have not proved useful in assessing national and global rates of forest regrowth and restoration. We provide a framework to illustrate how different management objectives drive the relative importance of different aspects of forest state, dynamics, and landscape context.

Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed Article