landscape matrix

International use of exotic plantations for native forest restoration and implications for Aotearoa New Zealand

The desire for ecosystem restoration and native forest expansion is growing internationally. Transitional forestry, where an exotic plantation forest is transitioned to a native forest, is a potential method of native forest restoration and carbon sequestration that is gaining interest in Aotearoa New Zealand. However, it is currently unknown whether this approach can produce a permanent native forest ecosystem and how representative of remnant native forest it could be.

New Zealand’s exotic plantation forests as habitats for threatened indigenous species

The contribution of exotic plantation forests to the conservation of New Zealand’s flora and fauna is a somewhat controversial issue, partly because the establishment of some plantations involved the conversion of indigenous vegetation. Such conversion no longer occurs within the professional forest industry and there is a growing appreciation of the contribution of ‘production’ land, including plantation forests, to the protection of New Zealand’s unique indigenous biodiversity.