WCS 3-Sentence Science
New Tool Will Measure Forest Quality Over Quantity
November 22, 2019
Each year, Wildlife Conservation Society scientists publish more than 300 peer-reviewed studies and papers. “WCS 3-Sentence Science” is a regular tip-sheet — in bite sized helpings — of some of this published work.
Here we present work by WCS’s James Watson on a new tool to measure forest quality:
- A research team introduces two data products: the Forest Structural Condition Index (SCI) and the Forest Structural Integrity Index (FSII) to meet this need for measuring forest quality for biodiversity and ecosystem services the humid tropics.
- The SCI integrates canopy height, tree cover, and time-since-disturbance to distinguish short, open-canopy, or recently deforested stands from tall, closed-canopy, older stands typical of primary forest; while FSII overlays a global index of human pressure on SCI to identify structurally complex forests with low human pressure — likely the most valuable for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
- These products represent an important step in maturation from conservation focus on forest extent to forest stands that should be considered “best of the last” in international policy settings.
Study and Journal: “Global humid tropics forest structural condition and forest structural integrity maps” from Scientific Data
WCS Co-Author(s): James Watson, Director, Science and Research Initiative
For more information, contact: Stephen Sautner, 718–220–3682, firstname.lastname@example.org.