Special Articles

Forests as Human-Dominated Ecosystems

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Science  25 Jul 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5325, pp. 522-525
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5325.522

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Abstract

Forests are human-dominated ecosystems. Many of the seemingly lightly managed or unmanaged forests are actually in use for agroforestry or for hunting and gathering. Agroforestry does reduce biodiversity, but it can also act as an effective buffer to forest clearance and conversion to other land uses, which present the greatest threat to forested ecosystems. In forests used for logging, whole-landscape management is crucial. Here, emphasis is placed on areas of intensive use interspersed with areas for conservation and catchment purposes. Management strategies for sustainable forestry are being developed, but there is a need for further interaction among foresters, ecologists, community representatives, social scientists, and economists.

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