A tropical perspective on conserving the boreal 'lung of the planet'

Ian Warkentin, Corey Bradshaw

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    Navjot Sodhi is best known for his advancement of tropical ecology and conservation science; however, his research origins were in fact based in the boreal forest ecosystem of Canada. Ironically, the less-studied ecosystems of the tropics have recently received much more conservation attention than northern biomes, despite the boreal forest (i) representing about one third of all remaining forest on the planet (and about 50% of the world's remaining tracts of large, intact forest), (ii) sequestering about 30% of the Earth's stored terrestrial carbon, and (iii) becoming increasingly fragmented with ecologically contiguous patches constituting only 44% of its entire area. These heightened threats of fragmentation and increasing fire frequency associated with expanding human industry in the boreal zone, along with climate change, mean that more international focus on the plight of the boreal ecosystem is warranted. Prior to his death, Navjot Sodhi had accepted a position at the University of Toronto where he planned to apply his keen, transdisciplinary approaches to boreal conservation science in an attempt to prevent the future destruction of planet Earth's second 'lung'. Although he never realised this dream, here we provide an overview and examples of how appropriate boreal forest management can be achieved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)50-52
    Number of pages3
    JournalBiological Conservation
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


    • Biodiversity
    • Boreal forest
    • Carbon sequestration
    • Climate change
    • EMEND
    • Fire
    • Forest management
    • Logging
    • Silviculture
    • Timber harvest


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