Human impact on the physical environment of Earth is readily apparent in our management of forest resources. The imprint of the demand for forest products is seen around the world, from deforestation in Asia and Africa to the closely managed forests of North America and Europe. A recent study on the emphasis for dense, fast-growing conifer dominated forest of the Pacific Northwest in the United States has raised questions about the health of animal species that require a habitat of shrubs, herbs and broad-leaf trees. Even forests managed for sustainable timber production lack the needed biodiversity which can lead to long-term degradation of habitat health.
Multiple Species at Risk from Emphasis on Conifer-Dominated Forests
“At least 78 vertebrate species have been documented that require, in one way or another, the food or habitat provided by non-coniferous vegetation, and may be at increasing risk whenever forest management reduces the prevalence of these shrubs or trees, or specifically targets them for removal.”
Image: Coniferous forest. Courtesy US National Park Service (Source)