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Locations of the 10 largest, intact forest blocks on earth (the largest in red and the other nine in yellow). source: Global Forest Watch Canada.

Locations of the 10 largest, intact forest blocks on earth (the largest in red and the other nine in yellow). source: Global Forest Watch Canada.

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... Boreal Forest presents perhaps the best opportunity globally to apply conservation as a climate change adaptation strategy. Canada's Boreal Forest contains one quarter of the remaining intact forest ecosystems on the planet and the largest contiguous forest ecosystem left on the globe (Figure 5). At present, much of Canada's Boreal Forest is inherently resilient. ...


... It is estimates that 59% or 703 gigatons of carbon is stored in boreal forest, compared to 31% or 375 gigatons in tropical, and 10% or 121 gigatons in temperate forests. This includes carbon locked in permafrost soil and peatlands (Carlson, et al., 2009). Disturbances may change the cycle from a current net carbon sink to a source of carbon to the atmosphere. ...
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The change in biomass and extent of trees can be an indication of the effects of climate change. Higher latitudes and elevations have been identified as regions which are particularly sensitive to changes in global temperature. The Arctic birch which occupies the ecotone between tundra and forest has been increasing in extent and biomass toward higher latitudes and elevations. This could results in a net release of carbon from the soil to the atmosphere, but also the locking of atmospheric carbon in the biomass of these trees. We have proposed new methods that could be used to estimate and monitor the change in extent and biomass of Arctic birch. The first relies on tree crown extraction techniques from true colour aerial images and lidar tree heights taken over Abisko, Sweden. The second uses tree shadow length extraction on snow using template matching from IKONOS-2 images over Kevo, Finland. Tree characteristic have been sampled at both sites and biomass calculated using allometric relations. The third uses the biomass modelled using the previous methods as independent variable and MODIS summer EVI or the difference between summer and winter EVI as dependent variable in a non-linear regression based model to estimate biomass over Fennoscandia. A MODIS percentage tree cover mask was used to remove soil and vegetation background signal influences. Results have been validated at every stage and compared with NFI data at country and regional level. Results are comparable if not better than previous research.
... Thus, there is still an opportunity to conserve higher levels of biodiversity conservation, including ecological integrity and resilience (Angelstam et al., 2004c), than in temperate forests. During the last years, the protection of boreal forests for mitigation and adaptation to climate change has also been highlighted (Carlson et al., 2009;Dise, 2009). ...
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Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is one of the leading forest certification schemes. While many studies concern political aspects and social outcomes of FSC, little is known about the contribution of certification to biodiversity conservation. In Europe, the Russian Federation and Sweden have the largest areas of FSC-certified forest. We assessed the potential of FSC certification for boreal biodiversity conservation in terms of standard content, and outcomes as habitat area set aside and habitat network functionality. First, we compared the biodiversity conservation indicators at different spatial scales in Swedish and Russian FSC standards. Second, focusing on one large state forest management unit in each country, we compared the areas of formally and voluntarily set aside forests for biodiversity conservation. Third, we evaluated the structural habitat connectivity by applying morphological spatial pattern analysis, and potential functional connectivity by using habitat suitability index modelling for virtual species. The Russian standard included indicators for all spatial scales of biodiversity conservation, from tree and stand to landscape and ecoregions. The Swedish standard focused mainly on stand and tree scales. The area of voluntary set-asides for FSC was similar in Sweden and Russia, while formal protection in the Russian case study was three times higher than in the Swedish one. Swedish set-aside core areas were two orders of magnitude smaller, had much lower structural and potential functional connectivity and were located in a fragmented forestland holding. We conclude that to understand the potential of FSC certification for biodiversity conservation both the standard content, and its implementation on the ground, need to be assessed. We discuss the potential of FSC certification for biodiversity conservation with different levels of ambition. We stress the need for developing rapid assessment tools to evaluate outcomes of FSC for biodiversity conservation on the ground, which could be used by forest managers and FSC-auditors toward adaptive governance and management.