Species Preservation in the Face of Novel Threats: Cultural, Ecological, and Operational Considerations for Preserving Tree Species in the Context of Non-Indigenous Insects and Pathogens
Oxford University Press (OUP)
Non-Indigenous insects and pathogens (NIIP) have functionally eliminated numerous tree species of immeasurable cultural and ecological significance over the past century, with the number of species introductions and associated impacts growing each year. Foresters are often on the frontlines of these impacts, tasked with quickly adapting management plans to recover potential economic losses and maintain future silvicultural options following tree species loss. We highlight that the irreplaceable cultural and ecological values provided by many tree species argues for renewed focus on applying integrated pest management and adaptive strategies in novel ways to sustain these values for future generations. To guide these efforts, we describe a framework for adapting to NIIP centered on three interrelated components: preservation value, preservation approach, and preservation strategy. This framework and emerging species preservation efforts provide an alternative path forward to sustain threatened species and their associated values in an era of increasing change. Study Implications: The impact of non-indigenous insects and pathogens (NIIP) is one of the greatest challenges facing the long-term stewardship of forests in North America. Species preservation efforts that apply integrated pest management and adaptive strategies to maintain species in the face of NIIP are increasingly needed in foresters’ toolboxes to address these novel threats. Identifying the preservation values (ethical responsibility, cultural integrity, ecological function, genetic conservation) tied to a species preservation effort will help guide how preservation approaches and strategies are applied at stand and landscape scales to sustain species and associated cultural and ecological values into the future.