University Of Tasmania

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Retention forestry to maintain multifunctional forests: a world perspective

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 15:32 authored by Gustafsson, L, Susan BakerSusan Baker, Bauhus, J, Beese, WJ, Brodie, A, Kouki, J, Lindenmayer, DB, Lohmus, A, Pastur, GM, Messier, C, Mark NeylandMark Neyland, Palik, B, Sverdrup-Thygeson, A, Volney, WJA, Wayne, A, Franklin, JF
The majority of the world’s forests are used for multiple purposes, which often include the potentially conflicting goals of timber production and biodiversity conservation. A scientifically validated management approach that can reduce such conflicts is retention forestry, an approach modeled on natural processes, which emerged in the last 25 years as an alternative to clearcutting. A portion of the original stand is left unlogged to maintain the continuity of structural and compositional diversity. We detail retention forestry’s ecological role, review its current practices, and summarize the large research base on the subject. Retention forestry is applicable to all forest biomes, complements conservation in reserves, and represents bottom-up conservation through forest manager involvement. A research challenge is to identify thresholds for retention amounts to achieve desired outcomes. We define key issues for future development and link retention forestry with land-zoning allocation at various scales, expanding its uses to forest restoration and the management of uneven-age forests.


Australian Research Council

Forestry Tasmania

Forests and Forest Industry Council of Tasmania


Publication title







633 - 645




School of Natural Sciences


University of California Press * Journals Division

Place of publication

2000 Ctr St, Ste 303, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA

Rights statement

Copyright 2012 American Institute of Biological Sciences

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Native forests