The International Boreal Forest Research Association: Understanding Boreal Forests and Forestry in a Changing World

Article

Abstract

Boreal forests represent a biome of the planet whose unique characteristics are changing rapidly under the influence of both human and natural pressures. These forests hold the key to current and future supply of coniferous industrial wood and at the same time play a significant role in regulating Earth's climatic system. Expected to be one of the most rapidly impacted regions of the world by future climate change, the boreal biome has already been substantially affected by global change. It is likely that if unabated, continued change will lead to impoverishment and degradation of boreal ecosystems, with consequent loss of vital services upon which human society depends. An improved systems understanding of the functioning of circumpolar boreal forests is a pressing challenge for boreal forest science and is needed in order to estimate their resilience to perturbations, to predict likely responses to the changing environment, and to design mitigation strategies. With such understanding, coordinated international efforts can be focused on developing anticipatory strategies for adaptation to, and mitigation of dangerous consequences of global change for boreal resources. The International Boreal Forest Research Association (IBFRA) provides a focus for international research on these issues and serves as a global window for boreal forest science and sustainable forest management in the boreal region.

Keywords

biogeochemical cycles boreal biome carbon circumpolar climate change disturbance ecology forest science global change IBFRA sustainable forest management 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Institute for Applied Systems AnalysisLaxenburgAustria
  2. 2.Canadian Forest ServicePacific Forestry CentreVictoriaCanada

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