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Resilience: one-off vs continuous disturbance

In an effort to foster a definition of resilience in the forestry field, we decided to establish a series of interviews introducing scientists who deal with this term every day. Today meet Elena Cantarello. She is a lecturer in sustainability science and conducts research on the dynamics and thresholds of ecosystem services at Bournemouth University, e.g. by measuring the resilience of forests in terms of recovery, resistance and net change after climate change, disease outbreak and extensive animal grazing.

In a recent study, she discusses the results of browsing with one-off and continuous disturbances. According to her findings, when combined with a one-off disturbance that causes tree mortality, such as a windthrow storm or a pest attack, the forest ecosystem services did not decline. That is also the case when less than half of the forest is affected by a continuous disturbance: the forest was still able to sustain primary ecosystem services. However, when this disturbance affects a greater area (>40%), recovery and net change in both, biodiversity and ecosystem services are significantly altered (Quantifying resilience of multiple ecosystem services and biodiversity in a temperate forest landscape).

The Voices of Resilience series talks to different scientists, some of who participated in a scientific workshop in September 2018 in Bonn. “Operationalizing Forest Resilience” brought scientists from Europe and the USA to discuss how they can help forest managers to implement resilience in practice. Previous Voices of Resilience features showed the work of Kathy Steppe, Rupert Seidl and Claudia Bieling. Be on the lookout for new videos!

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