An international study warning about the collapse of inland temperate rainforests and the BC Interior Wetbelt had help from UNBC professors.
Dr. Darwyn Coxson, one of the contributors, said that they had known about 25% of old-growth forests were left in BC, but a much lower number was actually useable for old-growth organisms.
“When we applied in our analysis a look at adjacent edges, roads, clear cut, things that fragment forests, the number was much more alarming, only about 5%,” said Coxson.
The study looked at the ecosystems, which was about a 10.7 million hectare region, and found that the decline in core old-growth areas dropped by 70% to 95% since 1970.
Clearcut logging contributed about 57% of the disturbances to the ecosystem.
The Chief Scientist for the study, Dr. Dominick DellaSala held a lecture at UNBC to talk about the study, and the findings were also published in the journal Land.
Coxson said the inland temperate rainforests are at a critical conservation stage.
“This is timely information because the province is now taking a step back and looking at how it’s going to manage old forests. I think the advice from this study is that it’s not just how much you have, but where the high-quality old forest is.”