Forests support biodiverse ecosystems by providing protection and habitats for many species (Nadkarni, 1994; Prevedello et al., 2018; Project Drawdown, 2020). In a meta-analysis including 62 independent studies, researchers found that higher levels of species abundance were 60% to 430% greater, and species richness was 50% to 100% greater in areas with scattered trees when compared to open areas (Prevedello et al., 2018). As such, the authors concluded that scattered trees support higher levels of biodiversity and should be considered as keystone structures for terrestrial plants, arthropods, and vertebrates globally.
Nadkarni, N. M. (1994). Diversity of species and interactions in the upper tree canopy of forest ecosystems. American Zoologist, 34(1), 70–78. https://www-jstor-org.proxy.lib.miamioh.edu/stable/3883819?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents
Prevedello, J. A., Almeida-Gomes, M., & Lindenmayer, D. B. (2018). The importance of scattered trees for biodiversity conservation: A global meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Ecology, 55(1), 205–214. https://journals-ohiolink-edu.proxy.lib.miamioh.edu/pg_200?::NO:200:P200_ARTICLEID:350268790
Project Drawdown (2020). Forest protection. https://www.drawdown.org/solutions/forest-protection