Contemporary forest management involves a more extensive and diverse suite of management objectives than was the case throughout much of the Twentieth Century. Heightened public and political awareness of local and global biodiversity decline, and interest in arresting these trends, has increased the emphasis on broad-based biodiversity conservation as an outcome of forest management in many temperate regions. Similarly, the stressors and opportunities associated with global climate change have elevated climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation to important objectives in forests worldwide. The recent proliferation of management objectives, including biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation, creates challenges when attempting to manage for complex sets of objectives, simultaneously. Although research has begun to explore the potential trade-offs involved in this multi-objective management, certain combinations of objectives have rarely been considered. This is the case for trade-offs between climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, and biodiversity conservation. Evaluating this combination of objectives provided the overarching theme for this dissertation.
An important secondary theme throughout each chapter of this dissertation is the ecology and management of mature Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) stands, in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) of the United States. Whereas the ecology of old-growth Douglas-fir forests has been the subject of much research over the past three decades, few studies have focused on the ecology or management of stands in the mature phase of stand development. This is despite the significance of the onset of maturity in PNW forest policy. Expanding the science-base on the ecology of mature forests, and the effects of active management conducted during the mature phase of stand development, is an important aim of this dissertation.