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Reprinted from Ecological Research, Volume 22(3), 2007.
Biodiversity is decreasing at the fastest rate in the history of the earth, largely as a result of human activity. The sustainable use of ecosystems allowing maintenance of biological diversity is an urgent problem that must be solved. Among terrestrial ecosystems, forests support the richest biological diversity. The interaction of humans and forests has a long history, but recent changes have been the most drastic ever. The rapid decrease and deterioration of forest ecosystems has been caused by social, economic, and ecological factors, which may vary locally but are common globally.
The mechanisms causing biodiversity loss through forest utilization and the results of that loss of biodiversity are still virtually unknown, although such knowledge is crucial to developing sustainable management strategies. The work featured in Sustainability and Diversity of Forest Ecosystems presents the results achieved by the RIHN project, together with reports on other international activities and related efforts, as ecologists, forestry scientists, environmental economists, and sociologists share in discussions of the issues.
- An interdisciplinary approach to sustainability and biodiversity of forest ecosystems: an introduction T. Nakashizuka
Part 1 Forest utilization and its impacts on biodiversity
- Legacies of the past in the present-day forest biodiversity: a review of past land-use effects on forest plant species composition and diversity M. Hermy and K. Verheyen
- Degradation of longicorn beetle (Coleoptera, Cerambycidae, Disteniidae) fauna caused by conversion from broad-leaved to man-made conifer stands of Cryptomeria japonica (Taxodiaceae) in central Japan S. Makino, H. Goto, M. Hasegawa, K. Okabe, H. Tanaka, T. Inoue, and Isamu Okochi
- Genetic and reproductive consequences of forest fragmentation for populations of Magnolia obovata Y. Isagi, R. Tateno, Y. Matsuki, A. Hirao, S. Watanabe, and M. Shibata
- Ecological function losses caused by monotonous land use induce crop raiding by wildlife on the island of Yakushima, southern Japan N. Agetsuma
- Degradation and loss of forest land and land-use changes in Sarawak, East Malaysia: a study of native land use by the Iban M. Ichikawa
Part 2 The basis and practice of sustainable management of forests and biodiversity
- Sustainable use of tropical forests by reduced-impact logging in Deramakot Forest Reserve, Sabah, Malaysia P. Lagan, S. Mannan, and H. Matsubayashi
- When is it optimal to exhaust a resource in a finite time? K. Akao and Y. H. Farzin
- Bio-economic resource management under threats of environmental catastrophes Y. Tsur and A. Zemel