Analog forestry

Analog forestry

Analog forestry is a system of growing trees and plants that seek to establish a tree-dominated ecosystem that is analogous in architectural structure and ecological function to the original climax and sub-climax vegetation community. Thus, Analog Forestry draws design input not only from traditional models but also from the natural forest successional dynamics. When an ecosystem is designed to be analogous to the indigenous climax state, the efficiency and dynamics of the natural processes can be replicated. These quasi-natural forests are designed to mimic the structural and functional aspects of indigenous forests and are referred to as analog forests. In addition to their ecological characteristics, analog forests are also designed to provide economic benefits. However, its is not until all the ecological requirements of the location are satisfied that economic values of species are considered. Therefore, an analog forest may be comprised of natural and exotic species in any proportion, the contribution to structure and function being the overriding factor that determines its use.

In analog forestry, conservation of biodiversity is an equally important goal as economic gain. By contrast, agroforestry sees an increase in the production of crops and income generation as the desired goal.

It arose in Sri Lanka around 1981 as an alternative to monocultures of Pinus and Eucalyptus and has spread to India, Viet Nam, Philippines, Australia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic,Honduras,Mexico, Canada, Kenya and Zimbabwe at present.

The International Analog Forestry Network (IAFN) is currently hosted in Costa Rica.


Senanayake, R. 1987. Analog Forestry as a Conservation Tool, Tiger Paper, vol XIV no2 PP25-29 FAO, Bangkok

Senanayake, R. and John, J, Jack. 1998. Analog Forestry: An Introduction. Monash University Publications. Monash Univ.Clayton, Vic. Australia

External links

* [ International Analog Forestry Network]
* [ Both ENDS Analog Forestry Information Package]

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