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Science, principles and forest management: a response to Abbott and Christensen

Calver, M.C.ORCID: 0000-0001-9082-2902, Hobbs, R.J., Horwitz, P. and Main, A.R. (1996) Science, principles and forest management: a response to Abbott and Christensen. Australian Forestry, 59 (1). pp. 1-6.

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As scientists engaged in research and teaching on the biota and ecosystems of Western Australia, we have been stimulated to respond to a recent paper by Abbott and Christensen 'Application of ecological and evolutionary principles to forest management in Western Australia' (Australian Forestry 57 (3), 109-122). In the light of the considerable emotion and rhetoric generated at present in the debate over management of native forests, Abbott and Christensen's paper had the potential to provide a rational basis for this important issue and to set the tone for reasoned and informed debate in all venues. Regrettably, this paper appears to contain fundamental flaws in logic, as well as in its choice and discussion of principles, and fails to live up to the promise of its title. Our concerns about the paper are substantial, making concise rebuttal difficult, and are presented under five broad headings.

1. Building a straw man.
2. Logical inconsistencies and misrepresentations.
3. Principles of platitudes.
4. Alternative interpretations.
5. Indicators of ecologically good condition of jarrah and karri forest.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Institute of Foresters of Australia Inc.
Copyright: (c) Institute of Foresters of Australia Inc. Paper reproduced here with permission of the publisher.
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