Emerging themes in the ecology and management of North American forests
Forests are extremely complex systems that respond to an overwhelming number of biological and environmental factors, which can act singularly and in concert with each other, as exemplified by Puettmann et al. . The complexity of forest systems presents an enormous challenge for forest researchers who try to deepen their understanding of the structure and function of these systems, and for forest managers who try to deploy practices that emulate natural processes. This paper addresses key issues in forest research and management and is divided into three sections: (1) disturbance, (2) emerging roles of forest detritus, and (3) ecological applications in the management of forest ecosystems. Disturbance emerged as a major theme from the workshop and is, thus, treated at some length and includes a subsection on ecosystem recovery to emphasize the controversy and special challenges of restoration as amanagement tool.