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Ecological Perspectives on Variable Retention Forestry


This is a thematic series published in Ecological Processes.

Maintaining the biological diversity and ecosystem services of natural forests requires not only the prevention of their conversion to agriculture or plantations, but also the use of specifically chosen harvesting practices. Variable retention forestry (VRF) is based upon the concept of retaining structural elements of the harvested stand for at least the next rotation in order to achieve specific management objectives.

This article collection aims to cover the outcomes of variable retention management and conservation proposals in natural forests around the world, also incorporating social and economic perspectives. The collection includes some long-term research outcomes and studies of large-scale implementation by private and government forest companies.

Submission instructions

Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you have carefully read the Submission Guidelines for Ecological Processes. The complete manuscript should be submitted through the Ecological Processes submission system. To ensure that you submit to the correct article collection please select the appropriate collection in the drop-down menu upon submission. In addition, indicate within your cover letter that you wish your manuscript to be considered as part of the article collection on 'Ecological Perspectives on Variable Retention Forestry'. All submissions will undergo rigorous peer review and accepted articles will be published within the journal as a collection.

Edited by:
Guillermo Martínez Pastur, Per Angelstam, Jerry F. Franklin and Ilkka Vanha-Majamaa

Published articles in this collection:

  1. Forest management globally affects the ecosystem services, especially those related to ecosystem functioning and biodiversity conservation, by altering forest structure and composition. The degree of alteratio...

    Authors: Guillermo J. Martínez Pastur, Ilkka Vanha-Majamaa and Jerry F. Franklin
    Citation: Ecological Processes 2020 9:12
  2. Intensive forest management has been applied in most Fennoscandian forests for a period of almost one felling rotation. This paradigm has produced even-aged and even-structured forests of different successiona...

    Authors: Matti Koivula and Ilkka Vanha-Majamaa
    Citation: Ecological Processes 2020 9:11
  3. Variable retention harvesting evolved in the Douglas-fir region of the Pacific Northwest gradually in response to increasing dissatisfaction with the ecological consequences of clear-cutting, from the standpoi...

    Authors: Jerry F. Franklin and Daniel C. Donato
    Citation: Ecological Processes 2020 9:8
  4. Retention approaches in forest management are today common in several North European countries, integrated into the clearcutting practice as a way to promote biodiversity and maintain ecosystem functions. Indi...

    Authors: Lena Gustafsson, Mats Hannerz, Matti Koivula, Ekaterina Shorohova, Ilkka Vanha-Majamaa and Jan Weslien
    Citation: Ecological Processes 2020 9:3
  5. In managed forests, leaving retention trees during final harvesting has globally become a common approach to reconciling the often conflicting goals of timber production and safeguarding biodiversity and deliv...

    Authors: Timo Kuuluvainen, Henrik Lindberg, Ilkka Vanha-Majamaa, Petri Keto-Tokoi and Pekka Punttila
    Citation: Ecological Processes 2019 8:47
  6. Conceptual clarity is important to attain precise communication of scientific knowledge and to implement appropriate technological and policy actions. Many concepts referring to forest management are widely us...

    Authors: Leonardo Galetto, Carolina Torres and Guillermo J. Martínez Pastur
    Citation: Ecological Processes 2019 8:40
  7. We explored whether, and to what extent, variable retention (VR) forestry has been applied in European boreal forests in northwestern Russia. Our survey revealed VR since 1910. Between 1910 and the 1960s, the ...

    Authors: Ekaterina Shorohova, Sergey Sinkevich, Aleksandr Kryshen and Ilkka Vanha-Majamaa
    Citation: Ecological Processes 2019 8:34

    The Correction to this article has been published in Ecological Processes 2019 8:39

  8. Stand-level retention is an important component of sustainable forest management which aims to balance ecological, social and economic objectives. Long-term retention of mature forest structures at the time of...

    Authors: William J. Beese, John Deal, B. Glen Dunsworth, Stephen J. Mitchell and Timothy J. Philpott
    Citation: Ecological Processes 2019 8:33
  9. Forests are used for multiple purposes worldwide, which often include timber harvest, firewood extraction and livestock raising. An excessive pressure on multipurpose systems may decrease soil cover, promoting...

    Authors: Laura Cavallero, Marcela Ledesma, Dardo R. López and Carlos A. Carranza
    Citation: Ecological Processes 2019 8:27
  10. Nothofagus pumilio forests in Tierra del Fuego are the southernmost forests in the world, where extreme climate conditions represent a challenge to attain sustainable forest management. Retention forestry was pro...

    Authors: Guillermo J. Martínez Pastur, Yamina M. Rosas, Mónica Toro Manríquez, Alejandro Huertas Herrera, Juan A. Miller, Juan M. Cellini, Marcelo D. Barrera, Pablo L. Peri and María V. Lencinas
    Citation: Ecological Processes 2019 8:24
  11. Variable retention (aggregated and dispersed retention) harvesting proposed for Nothofagus pumilio was designed for timber purposes and biodiversity conservation. Harvesting by opening canopy generates different ...

    Authors: Mónica D.R. Toro Manríquez, Juan M. Cellini, María V. Lencinas, Pablo L. Peri, Karen A. Peña Rojas and Guillermo J. Martínez Pastur
    Citation: Ecological Processes 2019 8:18
  12. Variable retention harvesting is a silvicultural system that focuses on retaining key elements of stand structure at the time of logging and is increasingly being used worldwide. We describe the design and est...

    Authors: David Lindenmayer, David Blair and Lachlan McBurney
    Citation: Ecological Processes 2019 8:2