Potential Impacts

Non-target effects of deliberately released organisms into a new environment are of great concern due to their potential impact on the biodiversity and functioning of ecosystems. Whereas these studies often focus on invasive species of macro-organisms, the use of microbial inoculants is often expected to have specific effects on particular functions but negligible overall effects on resident microbial communities. Here, we posit that such introductions often impact native microbial communities, which might influence ecosystem processes.
Wood residues from forest harvesting or disturbance wood from wildfire and insect outbreaks may be viewed as biomass "feedstocks" for bioenergy production, to help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Biomass removals of woody debris may have potential impacts on forest biodiversity and ecosystem function. Forest-floor small mammals, such as the southern red-backed vole (Myodes gapperi) that typically disappear after clearcut harvesting, may serve as ecological indicators of significant change in forest structure and function.