Silviculture and forest management are cores of the forestry profession. They are the sustainable way to plan and to conduct activities in a forest to control natality (birth), growth and development, and mortality (death) of trees and forest ecosystems to produce desired services and values (e.g., wood products, wildlife habitat, quality water, recreational experience). Forests are more than trees, and forestry additionally attends to other related forest elements and processes – but forestry (silviculture and forest management together) focuses on managing tree communities to create forests that satisfy societal needs.
Silviculture and forest management deal directly with baseline mortality by integrating a need to change forest conditions to meet landowner objectives, while creating a forest that exists in a normal, fully functioning state, with the latter defined in part by baseline mortality. A community of trees (from a stand to a forest) can exist in non-normal conditions for long periods, and by the baseline mortality concept, be unhealthy. Forestry activities can be used to bring an unhealthy community of trees to a more healthy state through regeneration and tending activities. These activities can be guided by tools such as stocking charts or stand-structure diagrams, which are based in large measure on the baseline mortality concept (Note: silviculturists and forest managers have been guided by baseline mortality long before it was an official concept).
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