Old-Growth Forests

Function, Fate and Value

  • Christian Wirth
  • Gerd Gleixner
  • Martin Heimann

Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 207)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxvi
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Christian Wirth, Gerd Gleixner, Martin Heimann
      Pages 3-10
    3. Christian Wirth, Christian Messier, Yves Bergeron, Dorothea Frank, Anja Fankhänel
      Pages 11-33
    4. Fritz Hans Schweingruber, Christian Wirth
      Pages 35-54
  3. Aboveground Processes

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 56-56
    2. Werner L. Kutsch, Christian Wirth, Jens Kattge, Stefanie Nöllert, Matthias Herbst, Ludger Kappen
      Pages 57-79
    3. Christian Messier, Juan Posada, Isabelle Aubin, Marilou Beaudet
      Pages 115-139
    4. Alexander Knohl, Ernst-Detlef Schulze, Christian Wirth
      Pages 141-158
  4. Belowground Processes

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 192-192
    2. Gerd Gleixner, Cindy Tefs, Albrecht Jordan, Matthias Hammer, Christian Wirth, Angela Nueske et al.
      Pages 231-266
  5. Biomes

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 284-284
    2. Jeremy W. Lichstein, Christian Wirth, Henry S. Horn, Stephen W. Pacala
      Pages 301-341
    3. Ernst-Detlef Schulze, Dominik Hessenmoeller, Alexander Knohl, Sebastiaan Luyssaert, Annett Boerner, John Grace
      Pages 343-366

About this book


Many terms often used to describe old-growth forests imply that these forests are less vigorous, less productive and less stable than younger forests. But research in the last two decades has yielded results that challenge the view of old-growth forests being in decline. Given the importance of forests in battling climate change and the fact that old-growth forests are shrinking at a rate of 0.5% per year, these new results have come not a moment too soon.

This book is the first ever to focus on the ecosystem functioning of old-growth forests. It is an exhaustive compendium of information that contains original work conducted by the authors. In addition, it is truly global in scope as it studies boreal forests in Canada, temperate old-growth forests in Europe and the Americas, and global tropical forests. Written in part to affect future policy, this eminently readable book is as useful for the scientist and student as it is for the politician and politically-interested layman.


Biodiversity Deforestation Habitat Rainforest biome ecosystem environment forest vegetation

Editors and affiliations

  • Christian Wirth
  • Gerd Gleixner
  • Martin Heimann

There are no affiliations available

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-92706-8
  • Copyright Information Springer Berlin Heidelberg 2009
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Biomedical and Life Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-3-540-92705-1
  • Online ISBN 978-3-540-92706-8
  • Series Print ISSN 0070-8356
  • About this book
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