Endangered forest resources in the U.S. Integrated strategies for conservation of rare species and genetic diversity

Donald A. Falk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A substantial number of woody taxa are presently at risk of extinction, representing a potential loss of forest genetic resources as well as contributing to reduction of overall biological diversity. Endangered taxa are found in a large number of genera and families, including many of importance in forest industries, horticulture, and crop production. Many of these endangered taxa are endemic to a single state and face severe threats to their continued survival. Rare and endangered species of plants often represent special problems for conservation, reflecting characteristic differences from common plants in their biology, patterns of threat, and resources available for conservation. Moreover, rare plants are as a group poorly represented in the scientific literature, making formulation of biologically sound conservation strategies difficult. An emerging trend in biological-diversity programs is toward integrated conservation strategies, which are grounded on three precepts. First, conservation methods can be applied to different levels of biological hierarchy. Second, conservation strategies should be tailored to the particular threat faced by the subject concerned. And finally, available resources must be assessed and combined to provide the highest possible degree of protection. A mix of conservation actions should be designed and executed to fit the biology and threat of a given situation, in order to achieve the maximum protective value. Such integrated strategies are inherently multidisciplinary, and are best carried out by collaboration among several agencies. Integrated conservation strategies render obsolete the dichotomy between in-situ and ex-situ conservation, by joining them in a more powerful, unified approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-107
Number of pages17
JournalForest Ecology and Management
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 15 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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