p. 704. Disturbance and dynamics
- Jaboury Ghazoul
Forests are in a constant state of change so it is difficult to identify any single ‘natural’ state. ‘Disturbance and dynamics’ considers an example of a forest that has had a non-intervention policy since 1902—Lady Park Wood in Wales—which provides an ideal opportunity to understand forest trajectories under near-natural conditions. It goes on to describe the effects of different agents of disturbance on forests: windstorms, fire, herbivores and pests, and disease. Long-term studies of forest ecosystems have begun to reveal patterns in forest dynamics. ‘Old growth forests’ cannot be seen as forests in the final stages of their development, as forest development is an indefinite cycle of change.