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Keywords:

  • assessment of biodiversity;
  • biodiversity benefits;
  • commercial environmental forestry;
  • forestry;
  • metric;
  • plantations

Summary  All forests, including commercial plantations, provide a range of habitats for conserving and enhancing elements of native biodiversity. However, the biodiversity values of commercial plantations will depend on the management practices adopted on site, as well as the landscape context of the plantation. The present study describes a generic, quantitative method for assessing the potential biodiversity benefits that might be derived from a plantation, depending on the management practices adopted. This method is based on existing ecological design and management principles. The Plantation Biodiversity Benefits Score (PBBS) was designed to be repeatable and practical to apply. The method can be used either as a stand-alone tool or as part of an integrated framework to assess and compare the commercial and environmental benefits that can be derived from different layouts, management practices and locations of plantations anywhere in Australia.