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Monitoring Forest Biodiversity: Improving Conservation Through Ecologically-Responsible Management

Series: The Earthscan Forest Library (formerly The Earthscan Forestry Library)

By: Toby Gardner (Author)

360 pages, b/w illustrations


Paperback | Nov 2011 | #212322 | ISBN-13: 9780415507158
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £29.99 $36/€33 approx
Hardback | Jun 2010 | #181167 | ISBN-13: 9781844076543
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £69.99 $85/€78 approx

About this book

Forest biodiversity monitoring programs, by evaluating the performance of existing management regimes and helping to identify opportunities for improved practice, represent an essential ingredient in the development of more sustainable management systems. Nevertheless many costly monitoring efforts are often little more than "tick the box'"exercises that do little more than erode the credibility of science. The purpose of Monitoring Forest Biodiversity is to identify the key elements of a robust and pragmatic framework for how monitoring and evaluation programs can make a more meaningful contribution to the development of an ecologically sustainable system of forest use.

To be meaningful monitoring programs need to be purposeful and grounded in clear objectives, effective in providing reliable assessments of the links between management activities and changes in forest biodiversity, and realistic in light of real-world financial, logistical and social constraints. Science can make a substantial contribution to achieving these aims but a key component of success lies in overcoming the organizational insularity that currently exists between researchers, managers and bureaucrats. The first part of Monitoring Forest Biodiversity lays out the importance of biodiversity monitoring in achieving responsible management, and sheds light on the key obstacles and challenges that have thus far confounded attempts to integrate meaningful monitoring programs into forest management systems. The second part presents an operational framework for developing improved forest biodiversity monitoring systems. These proposals address the challenges central to the scoping, design and implementation stages of a forest biodiversity monitoring program, including the definition of program goals and objectives, the indicator selection process, and data collection, analysis and interpretation.

Monitoring Forest Biodiversity is not intended to provide a 'how-to manual' of technical issues but rather to encourage a broader appreciation of the purpose and overall design of an effective monitoring program, with a particular emphasis on designing monitoring programs that are successful in the context of real-world challenges and constraints. Monitoring Forest Biodiversity ends with a section on integrating biodiversity information into the bigger picture and how to frame and evaluate trade-offs in multiple use forests.

"The book provides a comprehensive synthesis of an extensive and diffuse literature, and is highly suitable and readable text for graduate courses and seminars. Gardner's book sets a new and high standard for monitoring forest biodiversity. Putting this vision into practice presents many challenges, but will be well worth the effort."
– Robin L. Chazdon, University of Connecticut, in International Forestry Review

"Many of the recommendations in the book are not limited to assessing biodiversity just in forest ecosystems. Indeed, many of these concepts can and should be applied to a diversity of ecosystems and regions facing similar perils in a changing world, making this book a 'must-have' for any manager, graduate student, or scientist interested in monitoring."
– Benjamin Zuckerberg, Cornell University for Ecology

"This book provides a highly original review of one of the greatest challenges facing today's conservation and forestry professionals."
– Jeffrey Sayer, Senior Scientific Adviser, Forest Conservation Programme, IUCN – International Union for Conservation of Nature.

"Toby Gardner's excellent book contains many valuable lessons and recommendations on ways to improve forest monitoring, how to promote far better and more ecologically sustainable forest management, and approaches to significantly improve biodiversity conservation programs [...] Researchers, policy-makers, and forest managers need to read this book."
– David Lindenmayer, Fenner School of Environment and Society, The Australian National University

"Toby Gardner's timely, accessible and much needed book provides a constructive and common sense review of key problems and remedies regarding the future of forest biodiversity. His clear-headed proposals about monitoring and good practice offer a practical guide to improved forest management and conservation. I urge all those concerned with the fate of the world's forests to read and consider what this book has to say."
– Douglas Sheil, Director, Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation, Uganda, and Senior Research Associate, Center for International Forestry Research, Indonesia

"Monitoring Forest Biodiversity is a must-read for any forest carbon practitioner who wishes to further develop our demanding field. It clearly explains how to affect large-scale, statistically significant impacts that positively influence biodiversity and the surrounding forest community based on real, repeatable, equitable, and verifiable forest carbon project management."
Ecosystem Marketplace

"The book provides an excellent overview of contemporary work by a distinguished list of authors and will be an important addition to the bookshelves of those engaged in forest landscape modelling."
– Jeffrey Sayer and Jaboury Ghazoul, International Forestry Review

"One would hope that Toby Gardner's outstanding new contribution would not be restricted only to the attention of aficionados of forest management and ecology. The book is very readily translatable to monitoring and management of other major ecosystem types, such as marine and freshwater ecosystems, although a number of the middle chapters (e.g. Chapter 11) understandably are much focused on forest applications. A particular strength of Gardner's book is a nice marriage between abstract principles and the unpacking necessary for implementation by practitioners."
– Ralph MacNally, Austral Ecology

"The book aims to demonstrate the need for integrating monitoring and management in an operational system to enhance forest stewardship and biodiversity conservation; and to provide an operational framework for adaptive management to ensure the resilience of forest systems. Monitoring Forest Biodiversity meets these aims well [...] The book avoids unnecessary terminology and semantics. This is an important feature, as it will likely become a key reference for conservation practitioners, resource managers, policy makers and auditors of forest certification."
– Chris J. Kettle, Biotropica



Part 1: The Context of Monitoring Forest Biodiversity
1. Biodiversity Conservation in Human-Modified and Managed Forests
2. The Origins and Development of Ecologically Responsible Forest Management
3. The Need for Forest Biodiversity Monitoring
4. A Typology of Approaches And Indicators for Monitoring Forest Biodiversity

Part 2: Challenges Facing Forest Biodiversity Monitoring
5. Challenges to Monitoring: Problems of Purpose
6. Challenges to Monitoring: Problems of Design
7. Challenges to Monitoring: Problems of Reality

Part 3: An Operational Framework for Monitoring Forest Biodiversity
8. Clarifying Purpose: An Operational Framework for Monitoring Forest Biodiversity
9. Setting Conservation Goals for Biodiveristy Monitoring
10. Setting Objectives for Biodiversity Monitoring
11. Selecting Indicators of Forest Structure to Assess Management Performance
12. Selecting Biological Indicators and Target Species to Evaluate Progress Towards Conservation Goals
13. Making Assumptions Explicit: The Value of Conceptual Modelling in Biodiversity Monitoring
14. Sampling Design and Data Collection in Biodiversity Monitoring
15. Analysis and Interpretation of Biodiversity Data
16. Putting Forest Biodiversity Monitoring to Work


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Toby Gardner is a NERC Research Fellow in the Conservation Science Group, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge. For the past 10 years his research has focused on how to better understand and manage the impact of human activities on biodiversity in tropical ecosystems, including East Africa, the Caribbean and the Brazilian Amazon.

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