An Introduction to Analog Forestry
Analog forestry is a system of sustainable forestry that seeks to recreate the structure and function of a diverse natural forest. Much like agroforestry, it seeks to use forest resources for food, shelter, and income in a sustainable way, but it places higher value on biodiversity and ecological conservation/restoration.
Analog forestry products are typically less productive on an individual basis than those raised in more traditional agricultural settings. However, the high degree of biodiversity in analog forests ensures a steady income for practitioners. Analog forestry also provides the same ecological benefits as natural climax forests, including erosion prevention and water purification.
To date, analog forestry has primarily been practiced in tropical environments. However, the edible forest gardening movement in temperate regions shares many principles with analog forestry, and if analog forestry does move on a wide scale into temperate regions, mast-producing trees and shrubs are likely to play a major role in most analog forest gardens due to their multifuctionality.