Function - When thinking of and dealing with diversity in a forest, conventional vision focuses on structure and habitat. Diversity, however, has another dimension-one that is only now being perceived: function. The basic components of structural and functional diversity are inseparably interwoven in a forest. A broadened philosophical view of management-a forest versus a commodity-is necessary if certain structurally related functions, such as retention of water and cycling of nutrients and essential elements in large, fallen trees, are to be options in managed forests of the future (Maser and Trappe 1984, pg49-par4). E,g., A fallen tree performs various ecological functions between the time it falls and the time it is finally incorporated into the soil. If it lays up-and-down slope or falls across other downed trees, most of its volume is initially suspended above the ground. Such elevated relief adds complexity to the forest floor by creating cover and shade (Maser, Tarrant, Trappe and Franklin, 1988, pg41-par6). Function = Purpose.
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