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Putting purpose first - 10 functional forest types for New Zealand

Authors: Tim Payn
Publication: New Zealand Journal of Forestry, Volume N.Z.J.For. 2021, Issue N.Z.J.For. 66(1) 2021, pp 3-11, May 2021
Publisher: New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Abstract: New Zealand needs to look after its existing forests and develop new ones if we are to respond to the multiple challenges of climate change, biodiversity and environmental degradation, and the need to shift to a zero or low carbon economy. This paper introduces a new framework of functional forests to enable us to have wider discussions on the purpose of our forests and how they may be developed over time. The framework is based on a continuum of level of human disturbance or naturalness, underpinned by an ecosystem services framework. The intent is to broaden debate past the dichotomies of ‘exotic plantations versus natural conservation forests’ and ‘native versus exotic species’. The functional forests will have species and management regimes tailored to sites and landowner preferences, putting function or purpose first.