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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (1998) 43(2): 34–39
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Research article
Indigenous biodiversity conservation and plantation forestry: Options for the future

D.A. Norton

Our goals in plantation forests should be to integrate production and protection in the same landscape (as advocated by the Resource Management Act 1991) rather than replacing one with the other. A review of indigenous biodiversity in New Zealand's plantation forests shows that many indigenous plants and animals occur in exotic plantations, with the number of species being dependent on plantation age, proximity to indigenous remnants and a variety of site factors (slope, aspect, etc). Plantation forests contribute to the conservation of indigenous biodiversity through: (i) providing habitat for indigenous species; (ii) buffering indigenous forest remnants; and (ui) improving connectivity between remnants. Options for enhancing indigenous biodiversity conservation in plantation forests include: (i) retention of indigenous forest; (ii) establishing a greater diversity of planted species; (Ui) planting a diversity of tree species along streams and roads to provide additional habitat for indigenous animals; and (iv) modifying silvicultural practices within plantations, lt is suggested that through the use of spatial modelling, optimisation of the arrangement of different aged compartments, and different plantation species, will maximise both timber production and indigenous biodiversity within a forest thus allowing full integration of these two activities without the loss of production values.
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