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Synthesis: Improving biodiversity conservation in European managed forests needs pragmatic, courageous, and regionally-rooted management approaches


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Frank Krumm
Andreas Schuck
Andreas Rigling
How to balance forestry
and biodiversity conservation
A view across Europe
Recommended citation:
Krumm F, Rigling A, Bollmann K, Brang P, Dürr C, Gessler A, Schuck A,
Schulz-Marty T, Winkel G. 2020. Synthesis: improving biodiversity
conservation in European managed forests needs pragmatic, courageous,
and regionally-rooted management approaches. In: Krumm F, Schuck A,
Rigling A (eds). How to balance forestry and biodiversity conservation –
A view across Europe. European Forest Institute (EFI); Swiss Federal
Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), Birmensdorf.
Pp. 609633.
Synthesis: Improving biodiversity
conservation in European managed forests
needs pragmatic, courageous, and
regionally-rooted management approaches
F. Krumm1, A. Rigling1, 2, K. Bollmann1, P. Brang1, C. Dürr3, A. Gessler1,2, A. Schuck4, T. Schulz-Marty1,
G. Winkel4
1 Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Birmensdorf, Switzerland
2 Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH, Zürich, Switzerland
3 Federal Ofce for the Environment FOEN, Bern, Switzerland
4 European Forest Institute EFI, Bonn, Germany
How to balance forestry and biodiversity conservation – A view across Europe
We are currently confronted with a myriad of top-
ics that concern European and global forests. These
topics are addressed by a wide range of stakehold-
ers and interest groups, all with their own demands
and agendas. When the rst discussions about this
book production took place in 2016, the frame-
work conditions were actually quite different from
today: the modern concept of integrated forest
management as presented by Kraus and Krumm
(2013) was the starting point. Kraus and Krumm
presented the basic guidelines of the concept on
how biodiversity conservation and wood produc-
tion could be combined in a given forest area. The
concept was well received and as a consequence it
was translated from English into German and
French to reach a wider audience, especially at the
implementation level. Further initiatives address-
ing integrated forest management followed,
including the set-up of the European Network Inte-
grate. This network is an alliance of representatives
of different European countries that promotes the
integration of nature conservation into sustainable
forest management at the policy, practice, and
research level. The network encourages the
exchange of successful management practices and
experiences amongst its members, as well as the
generation of science-based knowledge as input to
policy debates and processes. The work of the net-
work is also supported by project activities. The
InForMar1 project, for example, aimed at improving
the understanding of ecological, socio-political,
and economic drivers of integrated forest manage-
ment. The results provided input to the formula-
tion of a set of policy relevant conclusions which
support outlining a favourable socio-political
framework for integrated forest management in
Europe. In close connection to these initiatives, a
need was expressed to compile a book that not
only further analyses the ecological and socio-eco-
nomic framework conditions, but also provides an
extensive collection of good practice examples
from across Europe, showing where a form of inte-
Preamble from the authors
There is an ethical obligation to protect the biodiversity of our planet and make an important
contribution to the promotion of biodiversity in our European forests.
We also have a societal obligation to cover our own wood consumption in Europe in a
sustainable and regional way. We should not rely on satisfying our wood demands in less well
protected forests elsewhere, but rather ensure that we can sustainably produce wood from our
European forests.
The use of the sustainably produced and renewable resource wood instead of energy-in-
tensive materials such as concrete and steel will result in substantial substitution effects. Wood
use will thus be important for reducing our carbon footprint, and hence, contribute to climate
change mitigation.
In times of climate change, increasing diversity is the order of the day. The promotion of
biodiversity and the design/provision of resilient forests can provide the common basis for syn-
ergies between the provision of the full range of forest products and services.
Growing human population and changes in demography and lifestyle result in increasing
global demand for multiple forest goods and services. Besides wood and biodiversity, those
include non-wood forest products, recreation, protection against natural hazards and erosion,
and clean water. The provisioning of such goods and services will be of paramount importance
for the well-being of societies today and in the future.
grated forest management has already been suc-
cessfully applied.
Despite biodiversity promotion in managed
forests already being an important topic in 2013
(Kraus and Krumm 2013), the discussion about the
global biodiversity crisis has intensied in recent
years (IPBES 2019). Even though an increase of cli-
matic extremes has been predicted for the coming
decades (IPCC 2019), the intensity and spatial extent
of what has occurred to date has exceeded the pre-
dictions. Parts of northern and southern Europe
were strongly affected by severe droughts in 2016
and 2017 (García-Herrera et al. 2019). The extensive
heat and drought in summer 2018 was epochal for
large areas from the Alps to Scandinavia. This was
followed by supra-regional extreme dry periods in
2019 and also in 2020. The forests in large parts of
Europe have been badly affected by these consecu-
tive events, and the condition of the forest deterio-
rated on a large scale, followed by unprecedented
tree mortality. Following droughts, there have
been reports of record bark beetle (Ips typogra-
phus) infestations in Norway spruce (Picea abies)
(Schuldt et al. 2020). However, even supposedly
more robust tree species such as European beech
(Fagus sylvatica) and silver r (Abies alba) have
been affected by the drought conditions over large
areas (Schuldt et al. 2020). All these developments
had not yet occurred when starting the work on
this book; hence, relatively little consideration was
given to them in the case studies. Today, almost ve
years later, it is obvious that, in addition to forest
res and storms, other large-scale disturbances
such as biotic threats and climatic extremes can
change our forests within a very short time (Batllori
et al. 2020), and in such a way that current forest
management approaches become difcult to con-
ceive and justify, especially as climate change sce-
narios assume that these trends are likely to become
even more severe in the future (IPCC 2019). It is,
therefore, obvious that such severe biotic and abi-
otic extreme events need to be considered in the
planning of our future forests so we can ensure
they provide all desired goods and services, includ-
ing biodiversity. However, what will the forests of
the future look like and which goods and services
will they still be able to provide? How can we steer
the forest succession to support a desired develop-
ment? Will we still want to produce wood as renew-
able natural resource regionally and sustainably in
100 years in Europe, and thus contribute to satisfy-
ing the global demand for wood? Will we want, in
this way, to contribute to reducing the pressure on
other forest ecosystems in other continents? How
should biodiversity in our future forests be main-
tained and promoted so they can continue to play
an important role as biodiversity hotspots? How
will biodiversity in our forests be affected if we
assume that tree species composition is altered as a
consequence of impacts of climate change and also
introduced new species?
In this synthesis we have compiled the main
messages arising from the different chapters. We
draw conclusions and reect on follow-up develop-
ments, activities, and implications for European
forest policy. We also highlight the most important
take-home messages derived from the theoretical
contributions (chapter B), the diverse good practice
examples (chapter C), and the box contributions. In
addition, this synthesis chapter is partly based on a
working paper of the European Network Integrate
(Winkel 2020).
Ecological and historical boundary
conditions and societal framing of forest
management to supply multiple goods
and services, including biodiversity
The contributions in chapter B present the broad
variety of boundary conditions and inuential driv-
ers of forest management including biodiversity
conservation in European forests. There is a multi-
tude of societal demands from forests, ranging
from those for wood and non-wood forest products
for the bioeconomy to the essential importance of
forests as habitats, and for climate mitigation, rec-
reation, protection of human infrastructure, and
public health. The need to balance these partially
competing demands makes management decisions
highly complex and multifaceted, and hence, a
holistic and differentiated view is needed that con-
siders all different and relevant aspects across sec-
tors and interest groups. Considering the European
focus of this book it is evident that stable and pre-
dictable framework conditions need to be provided
at a continental level that nonetheless respect
national forest management traditions and regula-
tory approaches. At the same time, it is clear that
when developing integrated forest management
concepts, not only local environmental and societal
peculiarities should be considered but also their his-
How to balance forestry and biodiversity conservation – A view across Europe
torical origins. These often multifaceted starting
points make clear that improving biodiversity con-
servation in Europe’s managed forests will only be
successful if pragmatic, courageous, and regional-
ly-rooted management approaches are developed
and applied. Given this, forest management still
takes place in a highly complex framework with
repercussions at different spatial scales and decision
levels. Not all driving factors can be steered or inu-
enced by management at the enterprise level. Many
of the factors are also affected by interest groups
and their demand for goods and services, the con-
sumer behaviour, as well as the higher-level policies.
In the long-term, observable continuous changes
such as the steadily increasing temperatures or land-
use changes, including hunting regimes (chap-
ter B 7), not only affect forest management but also
impact markets and consumer behaviour, and thus
require anticipatory action.
Disturbances or extreme climatic events
(droughts, heat waves) can have sudden and fun-
damental impacts on ecosystem functioning, on all
forest goods and services, and directly on the eco-
nomics of the forest enterprises (Thom and Seidl
2015). These factors cannot be controlled, but they
still need to be considered when aiming to steer
the forests to becoming more resilient to climate
change in the long term. Moreover, post-distur-
bance management is important to promote forest
restructuring and transformation.
The following paragraphs synthesise the state,
the challenges, and the promises of an integrated
management approach for biodiversity conserva-
1) European forests are largely shaped by their
cultural heritage resulting in a high regional
Forests in Europe are characterised by their cultural
heritage over thousands of years and only small
remnants of primary forests are left (g. D 1). The
majority of the European forests is in a semi-natu-
ral state regarding tree species composition and
forest structures. The forests are characterised by
local land use and forest management reecting
the natural template and ownership structures
(chapter B 4). The interplay of societal needs,
related human management, and natural processes
has impacted the forests and generated specic
biodiversity features that are valuable from a con-
servation perspective. Hence, when answering the
fundamental question of which type of biodiversity
should be aspired to (chapter B 8) targeted inte-
grated forest management should be considered.
However, integrated forest management is not a
universal solution and needs contextual applica-
tion. On the one hand, European forests are highly
diverse ranging from boreal forests in the North to
Mediterranean forests in the South, from mountain
forests to lowland forests, and from forests grow-
ing on rich soils to forests growing on degraded
and poor soils. On the other hand, forest manage-
ment regimes and intensity vary greatly, from
intense plantation forestry (e.g. C 12, C 13, C 15,
C 18, Box C 9), to multipurpose forestry with differ-
ent management intensities (e.g. C 1–C 5, C 27), and
to low intensity management (e.g. C 25, C 31). The
management approaches vary from region to
region and from enterprise to enterprise. As nicely
illustrated by the good practice examples (C 1–C 32),
this variety depends on management objectives set
by individual forest owners, biophysical conditions,
socio-economic demand, and resources available
for management. Both the biophysical boundary
conditions and the socio-economy are important
for context dependent and locally rooted inte-
grated forest management approaches (chapters
B 3, B 4).
2) The need for a differentiated view on wood
production and biodiversity conservation
Management schemes that are strictly oriented
towards wood production can have negative effects
on forest biodiversity (chapter B 1); in such schemes
old-growth structures, deadwood, and natural for-
est dynamics are often diminished and soil func-
tioning can be negatively impacted (chapter B 1).
However, forest management can also have posi-
tive impacts on conservation-related objectives, for
example by creating more diverse forest structures,
by increasing tree species and genetic diversity, or
by traditional management regimes such as coppic-
ing and different active conservation and habitat
management measures (chapters B 1, B 2). The good
practice examples clearly demonstrate that forest
management needs to actively include biodiversity
conservation aspects (e.g. by increasing tree species
diversity, retaining old-growth structures and
deadwood in stands (g. D 2), or moving from
clearcutting to single-tree or small-scale cuttings);
this might require compromises with other man-
agement objectives. However, such measures to
promote biodiversity also have the potential to
increase the resilience of our forests to secure other
demanded goods and services including wood and
biomass under climate change. Hence, they have a
great potential for synergies and this is an impor-
tant argument to support integrated management
approaches (chapter B 9) for the promotion of a
sustainable wood-based bioeconomy balancing
increased wood demands and other urgently
needed ecosystem services including biodiversity
(chapter B 5).
3) Societal expectations towards provisioning of
forest goods and services
The characteristic that many European citizens
appreciate most about forests is for ‘being nature’.
The most valued ecosystem services for the broad
society are the recreational opportunities, biodiver-
sity conservation and the positive effects of forest
for the local and global climate. This is also reected
in several case studies throughout the book (e.g.
C 4, C 5, C 18, C 20, C 28, C 30). Wood is also seen pos-
itively as a renewable natural resource. This view is,
however, combined with the expectation that man-
agement of forests is carried out in a sustainable
way. Many landowners also give high priority to
more than one objective for their forest, and multi-
purpose forestry is performed on large parts of the
public owned lands all over Europe, often with con-
sideration for nature conservation. Thus, policies to
increase environmental values of forests can build
upon general support of the European population
that is also, at least partially, mirrored by the prior-
ities of forest owners and forest managers. There is,
however, a necessity to improve communication
between forest and conservation managers and
the population concerning the possibilities of inte-
grative forest management. Such approaches can
combine the provision of multiple ecosystem ser-
vices and allow both the use of wood as a renewa-
Fig. D 1. Large diameter deadwood, such as this silver r in the primary forest of Sinca (Romania), are valuable
resources for many species. This is still a rare element in managed forests and should be widely promoted
(Photo: Andreas Rigling).
How to balance forestry and biodiversity conservation – A view across Europe
ble resource and the promotion of biodiversity.
There is a general understanding that forestry is
not just wood extraction from ecosystems, but also
the responsible management of forest resources to
respond to the demands of European societies.
At the same time, it is important that conditions
are established that allow landowners and forest
managers to align their own preferences (with
respect to economic expectations) with the societal
demands (e.g. with respect to nature conservation).
The successful balancing of these needs and
demands (g. D 3) is needed to achieve sustainable
resource production for the bioeconomy (chapters
B 4, B 5). This is also true for hunting, which has
developed in some regions from a ‘right of the
nobility’ to a necessary and fundamental task of for-
est management – today it must be seen as an eco-
system service, often requested by non-professional
hunters who have specic expectations that poten-
tially create conicts with forest managers and con-
servationists. Hence, alternative concepts and solu-
tions are needed that promote a dialogue and
possibly strengthen synergies between these inter-
est groups (chapters B 7 and C 27).
4) Climate change adaptation means increasing
the diversity of our forests in all respects as a
measure for risk distribution
Climate change is increasingly affecting European
forests, mainly through the growing impacts of dis-
turbances such as storms, pests and pathogens, for-
est res, and extreme heat and drought (chapter
B 9). Whereas economic damage has been caused in
the past particularly in monocultures with species
planted outside of their natural range, climate
change is increasingly affecting also native forest
trees and stands (Hanewinkel et al. 2013; Schuldt
et al. 2020). The impacts of climate change are
increasingly affecting both the ecology of forests
and the economics of their management, and will
probably do even more so in the future (chapter
B 6) (g. D 4). On the forest management side,
adaptation strategies such as the promotion of
mixed stands, increasing genetic diversity of trees,
Fig. D 2. Preserving habitat trees in large-scale monocultures might be an initial, but minimum, measure to promote
biodiversity. Habitat trees can act as ‘stepping stones’ to connect further measures such as old-growth islands,
deadwood, canopy openings, and forest reserves. How effective such measures are depends on their frequency and
spatial distribution, and on how well they are connected to the other measures and biodiversity elements. The photo
shows a gnarled beech with a broad, irregular crown in the middle of a Norway spruce plantation in the Eifel
mountains in North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany) (Photo: Andreas Rigling).
and enhancing natural regeneration in case appro-
priate tree species can be used to incentivise natu-
ral adaptation. In addition, selection cuttings can
be applied to keep the forest climate cool (Schwaab
et al. 2020) and variable cutting approaches can be
used to support a variety of microclimates and pro-
vide the structural basis for maintaining or increas-
ing typical forest biodiversity. In contrast, forest
management responses increasing the share of
potentially better adapted non-native tree species,
decreasing rotation periods to reduce risks, or
applying pesticides to combat increasingly severe
biogenic disturbances, can create new conicts and
trade-offs between biodiversity conservation and
forest use. These conicts can be minimised if such
practices are not generally used but are rather
applied with care and spatial and temporal restric-
tions. Overall, the increasing vulnerability of forests
towards disturbances provides support for the
arguments for integrative forest management
approaches as high diversity in species and struc-
tures increases the resilience of forest ecosystems
(chapter B 9). Higher diversity can be also seen as a
kind of natural insurance and has thus an indirect
economic value (chapter B 6). This widens the
potential for synergies between conservation and
other forest management goals compared to the
past. Consequently, there will be further opportu-
nities to adjust biodiversity conservation and other
forest management goals in an integrated manner.
5) Biodiversity promotion may be expensive – it is
worth something, but who should pay?
Forest management in Europe needs to be prota-
ble or at least cover its costs in the long term. Fur-
thermore, wood as an important natural resource
in Europe is one key pillar for the sustainability
transition of the European economy, including
ensuring that Europe is largely self-sustaining in
this area (chapter B 5). However, economic aspects
(relating to either the demands coming from the
wood market and/or the protability of forestry)
can be a critical factor decelerating or even inhibit-
ing the implementation of integrative forest man-
Fig. D 3. Forests, water surfaces, agricultural land, and settled areas are typical elements of European landscapes. The
management in such mosaic landscapes should not stop at the edge of the forest patches. Hence, integrative forest
management could be taken as a model for holistic biodiversity promotion for all landscape elements (Photo:
Andreas Rigling).
How to balance forestry and biodiversity conservation – A view across Europe
Fig. D 4. The extensive drought period in 2018 caused massive damage in beech forests in many central European
regions. This example from the Jura plateau in northwestern Switzerland illustrates the extent of the effects of
climate change; the range and intensity of such effects has exceeded all expectations. There are immediate and
long-term consequences for most forest goods and services, including biodiversity (Photo: Valentin Queloz).
Fig. D 5. This Tengmalm’s owl (Aegolius funereus) is an example of a species with specic habitat requirements; a
patchy land cover mosaic, including open forest structures, but also area of dense regeneration and disturbance. The
presence of cavity trees is crucial; the cavities are often created by the black woodpecker (Dryocopus martius). Such
specic requirements mean that targeted silvicultural interventions are needed, and this raises the question of who
pays for such measures? (Photo: Frank Krumm).
agement. Conicts with timber targets and nan-
cial goals might be thus one of the most important
challenges to advance the integration of biodiver-
sity measures in forest management (C 2). This calls
for a further, transparent economic assessment of
different strategies to integrate biodiversity con-
servation in managed forests, also in comparison to
alternative, non-integrative strategies. Moreover,
policy measures need to be developed and imple-
mented that support forest managers and forest
owners to deal with trade-offs (chapter B 4). It is,
therefore, also crucial to calculate and communi-
cate the true costs behind production, but also con-
servation (g. D 5) (Boxes C 1, C 2, and C 3; C 27).
6) Integrated forest management: Europe’s
answer for a responsible and sustainable use
of global forest resources
Beyond Europe, forests are also under pressure.
Deforestation and forest degradation are major
challenges in many tropical countries, resulting in
alarming environmental impacts (g. D 6). Among
the most important consequences are the exacer-
bation of climate change, the increase in biodiver-
sity loss, and the intensication of soil erosion. The
various pressures on global forests require consid-
eration of integrated forest management strate-
gies from different perspectives. It is only with inte-
grated forest management strategies that balance
wood production and biodiversity conservation
that a European ‘wood autonomy’ can be reached
without compromising nature conservation goals
in Europe. Integrated forest management aiming
to connect biodiversity conservation and sustaina-
ble wood production may serve as a model speci-
cally also for tropical forestry allowing both the use
of the natural resource while maintaining their
outstanding biodiversity. To be an effective and
sustainable model for integrated forest manage-
ment, appropriate policy instruments need to be
developed and implemented that support Euro-
pean forest owners to adapt their management
concepts. Such policy and management related
concepts can then be communicated to other
regions (chapter B 4).
Fig. D 6. Burned tropical rainforest in Bolivia transforming forests into agricultural land. Whereas primeval forests are
considered worthless in many regions, conversion to agricultural land can yield short-term prots, through the sale of
the harvested timber and also through subsequent agricultural production, such as cattle farming (Photo: Jürgen
How to balance forestry and biodiversity conservation – A view across Europe
7) Integrated approaches must interlink
management and conservation in the forest
and beyond
Integrated forest management approaches (Kraus
and Krumm 2013) are not only ‘technically’ con-
vincing, but also politically attractive and ethically
compelling. They are expected to combine the
many different and potentially conicting goods
and services that a forest can deliver and that soci-
ety demands – from wood to recreation, from secu-
rity against natural hazards to provision of berries
and habitats for birds – be it in our own neighbour-
hoods or in protected forest areas elsewhere. If
integrated forest biodiversity conservation
approaches are to be advanced, it is of utmost
importance to achieve a serious commitment across
both the conservation and the forest sector to sin-
cerely support integrative approaches in policy
design, resources, and implementation. Consider-
ing our cultural landscapes and the many densely
populated areas in Europe where different ecosys-
tems and habitats are interwoven, such integrative
approaches should be developed further from a
more holistic perspective and should be applied at
a landscape scale (g. D 12). Moreover, also the
interfaces to the neighbouring agricultural, water,
and urban areas need to be included in a successful
planning of biodiversity measures, which should
not stop at the forest edge. Hence, integrated for-
est management should be postulated as a success-
ful model for biodiversity promotion outside of the
forest area in managed landscapes.
8) Integrating biodiversity conservation in forest
management: learning from the many good
practice examples
Finally, the variety of forest management approaches
that have been developed by practitioners across
Europe holds powerful potential. Close-to-nature
forestry, ‘Plenterwald’, continuous cover forestry,
Fig. D 7. The great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) is the most common woodpecker species in European
forests. Small diameter trees with nesting sites for the woodpeckers are, however, a rare element as the habitat value
of small-diameter trees is underestimated and they are often removed in thinning operations (Photo: Ulrich Wasem).
reduced impact logging, and retention forestry – a
rich and varied portfolio of management approaches
that aim to achieve the integration of biodiversity
conservation in forest production management has
developed across Europe (see chapters C 1–C 32).
This means there is a wealth of practical experience
that is in many regards unique globally. Europe
combines the legacy of partially historically grown
‘close-to-nature’ approaches with ‘modern’ con-
cepts integrating biodiversity conservation meas-
ures, including segregation measures at different
spatial scales, such as forest reserves or habitat trees
(g. D 7). These approaches are informed by more
than three decades of conservation research. Hence,
the continent has many unique ‘good practice’
examples that can be drawn upon, concrete cases
where integration is practised, in many cases well-
grounded in the belief and passion of forest manag-
ers to work with rather than against nature. Com-
bining both practical expertise and a supportive
policy environment is the departure point for mak-
ing integrated forest management that aligns con-
servation and production goals in Europe, a wide-
spread reality.
Good practice examples of integrated
forest management: A Tour d’Europe
This collection of good practice examples from
across Europe (chapters C 1–C 32) compiles a diver-
sity of approaches about how to improve nature
conservation in managed forests. It is an impressive
collection of innovative programmes, concepts,
and attitudes from 19 European countries with
highly varying environmental, societal, and legal
conditions. Of course, there are many other inter-
esting examples in the many different countries
and regions that were not included or did not t
into this compilation. As each case is individual and
highly regionally specic, the examples cannot be
directly transferred from one local context to
another. However, they can serve as examples of
what is possible, and of what might be of interest
in my own region – the presented cases should
stimulate and motivate promotion of biodiversity
in managed forests under highly varying condi-
As described in the introduction and through-
out section B, Europe can draw from rich traditions
in land management, and especially in forest man-
agement. In other continents the discussions are
very similar, and it is thus worthwhile to take a look
at what is happening outside Europe, although
scales, socio-cultural and political systems are most
often not directly comparable. Understanding the
consequences of production processes and their
impacts is crucial for the evaluation of expected
ecosystem services in forests. In particular, nature
conservation is affected when demands for timber
products are fullled across different continents.
When we produce less forest products locally in
Europe but consume the same amount or even
more, the wood must come from elsewhere. This
might result in unsustainable forest management
in countries with weak institutions and low com-
mitment to sustainable management. Even if the
main focus of this book is on Europe, examples,
experiences, and ideas from other continents are
embedded with many box contributions, from
North America (Boxes C 11 and Box C 12), South
America (Box C 8), Africa (Box C 19), and Asia (Box
C 14). These contributions present a variety of inter-
esting concepts from which we can learn.
Forest enterprises in Europe provide a variety
of forest goods and services, which are, depending
on the local conditions and needs, given different
priorities (g. D 9). The rst section of the practice
examples reects on enterprises with a very diverse
portfolio in goods and services. These examples
(C 1–C 5) are located in areas with generally favour-
able growing conditions for forests, with tradition-
ally a main focus on valuable timber production for
local people, markets, and industry. Auberive (C 1),
Ebrach (C 2), and OAK Schwyz (Box C 7) were tem-
porarily owned and managed by monasteries in
rather rural areas and have long management tra-
ditions, where e.g. coppicing with and without
standards have traditionally provided fuelwood
and construction timber. Kottenforst (C 4) and Kan-
dern (C 5) are situated in highly diverse landscapes
where rural, mountainous areas are mixed with
proximity to highly urbanised areas, impressively
showing how wood production, and increasingly
also recreation, safety for important transportation
routes, water retention, and biodiversity promo-
tion can be simultaneously considered. The Kotten-
forst (C 4) in the Upper Rhine Valley is characterised
by immense recreation pressure since surrounding
cities have grown together during the past dec-
ades. The recreation value, however, is derived
from the historic forest management that is still
How to balance forestry and biodiversity conservation – A view across Europe
applied today producing highly valuable oak of
large dimensions. These are crucial for biodiversity
promotion as they comprise old ‘methuselah’ trees
that are rich in tree microhabitats. Timber produc-
tion is still important in the Danish Rold forest (C 3),
but in parallel there are also efforts to promote
biodiversity conservation by reintroducing distur-
bance agents – this is the result of an agreement
between nature conservation, forest managers,
and the society. These examples demonstrate how
a long tradition in multiple services forestry with
focus on timber production can be preserved but
advanced towards biodiversity promotion in line
with changing societal needs in densely populated
In mountainous areas, priorities have shifted
towards protection against natural hazards and, as
a consequence, the life of the local society is directly
dependent on the forests resulting in a tradition-
ally stronger relation to the forests. Close-to-nature
forest management is therefore deeply rooted in
Pahernik (C 6) and Tamins (C 23), where the produc-
tion of valuable timber is still a priority, within a
matrix of forests managed with continuity and
closeness to nature. Mountain areas are orographi-
cally highly heterogeneous and ecosystems change
quickly within short distances creating highly
diverse dynamic landscapes rich in species. The
Piwniczna case in Poland (C 7) shows how the pro-
duction of valuable timber and protection against
natural hazards goes hand-in-hand with the pro-
motion of rare large predators (grey wolf, lynx and
brown bear). In Nyon-St.-Cergue (C 8) traditional
management of forests and agricultural areas had
resulted in an old cultural landscape where forests
and pastures are intensively interwoven resulting
in contrasting and species-rich habitats. This coex-
istence of forest and agriculture, combined with
higher efforts and costs of respective management
in mountain areas, has resulted in innovative asso-
ciations applying old forms of integrated forest
management. This is illustrated by the ‘Osterwaldg-
esellschaft Eglofs’ (C 10), the ‘Grands Forêts de
Hèches’ (C 9) and the ‘OAK Schwyz’ (Box C 7) where
local people strongly identify and are closely con-
nected with their forests; local people place great
value on the entire landscape including biodiver-
sity. Biodiversity promotion occurs in these environ-
ments very much in parallel to the maintenance of
their living environment based on long-term conti-
nuity and a profound understanding of local value
chains that are signicant to such organisations.
Mountain forests and lowland forests differ in
respect to their ecological and societal precondi-
tions, and hence in their priorities for specic forest
goods and services. Space and acceptance for local
initiatives in order to maintain local value chains
and cultural peculiarities are crucial to promote
landscapes rich in biodiversity.
The cases C 11 to C 20 represent timber produc-
tion forests with intensive forest management.
They are highly different with respect to size and
biogeographic location. Two practice examples are
from Sweden: the state forest company Sveaskog
(C 15) present their approach of establishing Eco-
parks on 5–10 % of their managed forests with bio-
diversity and recreation as new priority services
aside from wood production; and one of the Eco-
parks, the private estate of Christinehof (C 11). This
new and visionary approach arose because continu-
ous forests and areas for biodiversity and recrea-
tion were widely missing in Sweden, a country
where intensive use of forests is part of the culture,
and the wood industry is an important pillar of the
economy. In contrast to this large-scale approach,
the Scottish private estate Dobie (C 12) puts the
focus on regional plantation forestry for an explicit
regional market combined with small-scale meas-
Fig. D 8. A typical forest stand in Sweden with a high
value for the industry but also for aesthetics and
recreation. This birch forest hosts a variety of typical
species and is therefore also important for nature
conservation (Photo: Daniel Kraus).
ures to promote biodiversity. The estate owned
sawmill is an essential part of this very local forest
enterprise promoting the local value chain. In the
south of Europe, the situations in Portugal and Bul-
garia are totally different. Coming from an intense
management for eucalypt pulp and paper in the
Companhia da Lezirias (C 14) and for valuable coni-
fer timber in the Rhodope mountains (C 13), differ-
ent elements to protect Natura 2000 and tradi-
tional forms of forest management were integrated
into the management concepts, which led to signif-
icant improvements in biodiversity in intensive
plantation forestry. In Woziwoda, in northern
Poland (C 18), the education of people and espe-
cially of children is an integral part of the work of
forest managers. Within their highly productive
pine forests, historical elements of forest manage-
ment, such as beekeeping in forests, have been
re introduced. Because of an increasing awareness
of missing links between humans and forests, eco-
system functioning and production processes are
demonstrated and explained to the public. These
examples show ways and measures to adapt inten-
sive forest management in order to promote biodi-
versity and other important goods and services
while still producing wood.
The cases from the Alps, namely the Susa Valley
in northern Italy (C 21), Langau (C 22) in Austria,
and Tamins in Switzerland (C 23) showcase how
mountain silviculture can combine protective issues
with biodiversity promotion, touristic interests, and
timber production. In Norway (C 24), silvicultural
systems that support more biodiversity do not yet
have a long tradition, but are gaining importance
as the clearcut rotation system applied is increas-
ingly creating instability problems on the steep
slopes, and has been identied to harm biodiver-
sity. The example of the ‘Fire Flocks’ in Catalonia
(C 25) focuses on the prevention of large re distur-
bances, which are dangerous for the local popula-
tion and human infrastructure. The goats reduce
fuel loads in forests, and although wildres may
occur to a minor extent they are less severe than
they otherwise would be. The goats are also part of
a local value chain and provide the local people
with meat, cheese, and income, and additionally
create important habitats for specic fauna and
ora elements improving biodiversity. However,
management to increase the safety and simultane-
ously also consider other goods and services includ-
ing biodiversity is complex and costly, and accept-
ance of the management methods by the society
cannot be taken for granted. Nevertheless, the pro-
tective functions of forests are crucial for people
living in remote and often structurally weak areas,
and provide the basis for maintaining local value
chains and life in mountain areas.
Tourism and scenic beauty are services of
increasing importance for modern societies. Espe-
cially in urban areas where noise, dust, pollution,
heat, and trafc impact people, possibilities to
retreat and recreate are increasingly requested.
The Sonian Forest (C 28), close to Brussels is a man-
aged forest with a very large number of visitors per
year (>5 million); these visitors arrive with the clear
expectation to experience forest and biodiversity,
and to nd relief from urban life. Also, the Cairn-
gorms National Park in Scotland (C 26) protects a
valuable landscape for biodiversity and also for
touristic purposes applying targeted forest man-
agement. In the Serra de Llaberia (C 29) a landscape
management concept is applied where forests,
vineyards, and rock formations create a highly
attractive landscape for tourism. These specic
practice examples with very clear priorities on spe-
cic goods and services highlight the need for tar-
geted, integrated management.
A more holistic approach of integrative forest
management is applied to the regional level where
the forests are understood as part of the landscape,
including different habitats and special biotopes
inside and outside the forest area. The cases of
Amden (C 30), the Black Forest National Park (C 31),
Bad Windsheim in Bavaria (C 32), and Nyon-St.-Cer-
gue (C 8) are managed to promote species assem-
blages of landscape elements and management
practices. Planning beyond forests, on a landscape
level is clearly an issue and needs integrative think-
ing of all stakeholders. Especially for biodiversity
issues, an overarching view is of central importance.
In all these practice examples, the provisioning
of the desired forest goods and services including
biodiversity is the result of a dynamic and targeted
management applied at different spatial scales,
with varying time horizons including temporary or
unlimited protection of single trees or entire forest
How to balance forestry and biodiversity conservation – A view across Europe
C 13: Dikchan, Bulgaria C 15: Ecoparks, SwedenC 14: Lezírias, Portugal
C 11: Christinehof-
Högestad, Sweden
C 5: Kandern, Germany C 6: Pahernik, Slovenia
C 10: Osterwald Eglofs,
C 7: Piwniczna, Poland
C 4: Kottenforst, GermanyC 3: Rold Skov, DenmarkC 2: Ebrach, GermanyC 1: Auberive, France
C 9: Hèches, France
C 8: Nyon-St.-Cergue,
C 12: Dobie family,
Case studies: an overview of ecosystem services rating
C 16: Kocanda, Czech
C 20: Zvolen, Slovakia
C 27: Bois Landry, France
C 21: Val di Susa, Italy C 22 Langau, Austria
C 26: Cairngorms, Scotland
C 23: Tamins, Switzerland
C 19: Poitschach, AustriaC 18: Woziwoda, PolandC 17: Ireland
C 29: Serra de Llaberia,
C 30: Amden, Switzerland C 31: Black Forest NP,
C 32: Bad Windsheim,
C 25: Girona, Spain
C 24: Vestland, Norway
C 28: Sonian forests,
Chart legend:
T/B: Timber/Biomass
NTP: Non-timber products
E: Erosion
P: Protection
Relative investment in workpower
and nances of the entreprise in
different goods and services. Each line
corresponds to a 20 % increase,
from 0 to 80 %
B: Biodiversity
R: Recreation
L: Landscape
C: Climate
G: Groundwater
How to balance forestry and biodiversity conservation – A view across Europe
The silvicultural toolbox of integrated
forest management
The Tour d’Europe brings us through different bio-
geographic regions, countries, cultures, and forest
management traditions. As a consequence, the col-
lection of good practice examples presents an
interesting list of individual and regional-specic
approaches to the question: How can biodiversity
conservation be improved in managed forests
across Europe? All authors of the good practice
examples were asked to indicate which measures
and tools are applied to promote biodiversity inte-
gration into forest management in their corre-
sponding enterprises. The measures are synthesised
into a silvicultural toolbox (Tab. D 1) and are
grouped into biological/ecological management
tools and socio-economic tools. The biological/eco-
logical tools are further grouped into separate sec-
tions indicating the spatial focus of the measures:
(1) Landscape scale tools, (2) Tree- and dead-
wood-related tools, and (3) Species-related tools.
Although the presented good practice examples
show an expected great variety of different meas-
ures and tools, a surprising degree of agreement
on certain measures can be observed.
Biological/ecological management tools
Landscape tools:
Forest reserves as a tool with signicance at the
landscape scale are widely applied in almost all of
the presented examples as an important measure
that allows for natural dynamics. Uneven-aged sil-
viculture as a main principle of close-to-nature silvi-
culture is applied in many countries in central
Europe. However, this measure can also be applied
in a variety of different contexts at different spatial
scales to promote small-scale vertical and horizon-
tal heterogeneity. The integration of distur-
bance-related processes in forest management is
still rare although highly efcient (chapter B 1).
Ebrach (C 2), Kandern (C 5), and Amden (C 30) leave
single-tree windthrows and sometimes small-scale
windthrows untouched. In Rold (C 4), disturbances
by water-related dynamics (ooding, ice course)
are welcome and even promoted as a part of the
concept that should reinforce fauna and ora that
is adapted to such a water-driven disturbance
regime. The Danes are actively creating disturbed
forest areas. The restoration of pasture systems as
measures to promote specic and rare species com-
positions at the interface between forest and open
land is practised in Nyon-St.-Cergue (C 8) and even
in the strictly protected Black Forest National Park
(C 31). Nevertheless, large disturbances such as res,
bark beetle infestations, and bigger windthrow
areas are not yet accepted by society. However,
there seems to be an ongoing shift in people’s atti-
tudes to such disturbances, as shown, for example,
by the currently observed reaction to large-scale
damage induced by disturbances all over Europe.
The restoration of historic management regimes is
also promoted in some cases as especially coppice
with and without standards are known to create
important habitats for many endangered forest
species (e.g. C 1, C 2, C 32). The promotion of con-
necting elements is widely applied also in the pre-
sented examples in C 13, C 14, C 15 and C 16. The
same is true for the use of natural regeneration; it
should be applied whenever possible.
Tree- and deadwood-related tools:
The promotion and safeguarding of methuselah
trees and old-growth elements is one of the most
often applied tools. Almost all practice examples
presented in this book protect and support big and
old trees. The same is true for deadwood and the
concept of protecting habitat trees. The active crea-
tion of habitat trees as a tool to promote biodiver-
sity conservation is applied in some of the presented
examples, although not yet systematically but rather
on an occasional basis (C 2, C 16, C 19, C 29, C 33).
Species-related tools:
The promotion of genetic diversity often goes
along with the replacement of non-native tree spe-
cies and promotion of native species. The examples
C 4, C 5, C 16, C 21, C 22, and C 28 have traditionally
valuable genetic material and the stakeholders are
investing not to lose this value. It needs to be ques-
tioned, however, whether the idea to conserve
locally adapted populations or specic genetic var-
iants on site is not too conservative in a period
where climate change often requires assisted gene
ow to promote evolutionary adaptation. Hunting
and especially selective hunting aiming at securing
or even promoting certain tree species, such as sil-
ver r (Abies alba) or several broadleaved species,
are of high importance especially in mountain for-
ests (C 19, C 21, C 22, C 23) to ensure protective func-
tions, but also in lowland forests to ensure native
tree species composition (C 1–C 5). Promoting rare
Table D 1. Silvicultural toolbox, showing the different biological/ecological and socio-economic tools, clustered into different spatial scales of application.
Category Measures
Level Measure/Tool Rationale and explanation
Forest reserves Network of unmanaged forests as refuge and source areas for certain species.
Uneven-aged silviculture Promotion of small-scale vertical and horizontal structures.
Disturbances Use disturbances to initiate change. Accept the habitat created by disturbance events to increase
biodiversity (e.g. deadwood).
Promotion of processes leading to
disturbances Promote or indicate processes leading to disturbances (opening water ditches, drainages to
stimulate species shifts and according processes).
Connecting elements Set aside small forest areas, special/rare biotopes, promote X habitat trees per hectare.
Restoration of natural site conditions/
processes Refer to natural conditions and the potential natural vegetation in tree species selection, open
dams, close ditches, prescribed burning.
Restore historic woodland pasture Forest grazing, wood pastures.
Restore historic forest management Restore historical land-use practices that favour biodiversity (e.g. coppice, coppice with standards).
Increase structural diversity Promote elements that increase structural diversity – forest edges, forest roads, forests along river
streams or ponds.
Natural regeneration Favour natural regeneration where possible.
Tree and
Old trees (Methuselah trees) Methuselah concept (e.g. retention of all trees with dbh > 80 cm).
Habitat trees, retention and creation Protect habitat trees and or artically create habitat trees, by girdling, scratching bark/stems,
injuring trees on purpose, creating habitats such as tree cavities.
Deadwood Leave dead trees standing/lying, old and deadwood concepts, leave cut crowns in the forest,
actively create deadwood (e.g. high stumps).
Promotion of rare tree species Retain/favour or plant rare tree species to increase tree species diversity or plant or favour
particular species (Quercus, Sorbus, Ulmus, Alnus, etc.) which provide rare habitat.
Increase tree species diversity Plant or promote rare tree species or species that are not sufciently represented.
Promotion of genetic diversity Plant or promote local provenances or provenances that t into the local forest context
Reduce invasive tree species Eliminate non-native and particularly invasive species.
Replace non-native tree species Replace non-native with native tree species.
Promotion of herbivores Actively re-introduce or tolerate species like beaver, moose, European bison.
Promotion of predators Actively introduce or tolerate species like pine marten, lynx, brown bear, wolf.
Promotion of birds Actively introduce or tolerate species like capercaillie, black stork, sea eagle.
Hunting Hunting to reduce negative effects of high populations of game species on overall diversity.
Selective hunting Reduce certain species with negative impact on diversity (e.g. roe deer, sika deer, red deer).
Exclusion of domestic animals Exclude cattle and goats in case of overusage of forest areas (e.g. Iran).
Education and training Special programmes to educate professionals, adults, and students about ecology and manage-
ment of forests (e.g. using marteloscopes).
Creating awareness of regional
production processes Education of processes that are related to timber production on regional scales, promoting
capacities on regional value chains.
Promotion of forest-related activities
- felling trees, usage of forest products Awareness of human needs and production. Humans as users - creating understanding of
necessary processes.
Promotion of regional value-chain Supporting local sawmill- and timber-related industry, advertising local products, such as game,
meat, and furniture
Promotion of specic forest products Produce specic timber assortments, e.g. by aiming for big tree dimensions (veneer), or valuable
trees (e.g. oak).
“CO2 certicates (only OAK Schwyz CH
Box C 7, Solothurn CH Box C 5)” Compensation payments by the private sector to increase the life span of trees and extend the CO2
sink in timber.
Ecosponsoring Compensation payments by local industry or private partners.
How to balance forestry and biodiversity conservation – A view across Europe
Table D 2. Overview on applied measures in the good practice examples (Criteria Table).
Main chapter C 1 Production forests in
the lowlands
C 2 Production forests in
mountainous areas
Page 196 204 222 236 248 260 272 284 298 308
Chapter C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7 C8 C9 C10
Level Measure / Tool
Auberive, France
Ebrach, Germany
Rold, Denmark
Kottenforst, Germany
Kandern, Germany
Pahernik, Slovenia
Piwniczna, Poland
Nyon-St.-Cergue, Switzerland
Hèches, France
Eglofs, Germany
Biology / Ecology
Forest reserves x x x x x x x x
Uneven-aged silviculture x x x x x x x x x x
Disturbances x x x x
Promotion of processes leading to
disturbances x x x
Connecting elements x x x x x x x x x x
Restoration of natural site conditions/
processes x x x x
Restore historic woodland pasture x x x
Restore historic forest management x x x
Increase structural diversity x x x x x x x x x
Natural regeneration x x x x x x x x x x
Old trees (Methuselah trees) x x x x x x
Habitat trees, retention, and creation x x x x x x x x x x
Deadwood x x x x x x x x x
Promotion of rare tree species x x x x x x x x
Increase tree species diversity X x x x x x x x
Promotion of genetic diversity x x x
Reduce invasive tree species x x x x
Replace non-native tree species x x x x x
Promotion of herbivores x x
Promotion of predators x x x x
Promotion of birds x x x x x x x x x
Hunting x x x x x x x x
Selective hunting x x x x x x x
Exclusion of domestic livestock x x
Education and training x x x x x x x x x
Creating awareness of regional produc-
tion processes x x x x x x x
Promotion of forest-related activities -
felling trees, usage of forest products x x x x x
Promotion of regional value-chain x x x x x x x x
Promotion of specic forest products x x x x x
“CO2 certicates (also OAK Schwyz CH
Box C 7, Solothurn CH Box C 5)”
Ecosponsoring x x
C 3 Production forests: Intensive forest management C 4 Protection C 5 Managing for
scenic beauty
C 6 Managing
for species
322 330 346 354 368 384 402 416 424 440 452 476 478 490 498 512 522 532 546 558 574 590
C11 C12 C13 C14 C15 C16 C17 C18 C19 C20 C21 C22 C23 C24 C25 C26 C27 C28 C29 C30 C31 C32
Christinehof, Sweden
Dobie family, GB/Scotland
Dikchan, Bulgaria
Lezirias, Portugal
Ecoparks, Sweden
Kocanda, Czech Republic
Woziwoda, Poland
Poitschach, Austria
Zvolen, Slovakia
Val di Susa, Italy
Langau, Austria
Tamins, Switzerland
Vestland, Norway
Girona, Spain
Cairngorms, GB/Scotland
Bois Landry, France
Sonian Forest, Belgium
Serra de Llaberia, Spain
Amden, Switzerland
Black Forest, Germany
Bad Windsheim, Germany
xxx x x xx xx xxxxxx
xx x xx xxx xxxxxxx
x xxxxx x xxxx
x x x x x x x x
xxxxxxx x xxxx xxx xx
x x x x x x x x x x
x x x x x x x x x x x x
x x x x x x x
xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxx
xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx
x x x x x x x x x x x x
xxxxxxxxxxxx x xxxxxxx
xxx xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx
x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
xx xxxxx xxx xxxx xx
x x x x x x x
x x x x x x x
x x x x x x
x x x x x x x x
x x x x x x x x
x xxxxxxx xxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxxxx x
x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
x x x x x x x
x xxxxxx xxxxxxxx
x x x x x x x
x x x x xx x xxxxx x
x x xxxx xx xxxxxxx
x xx xx xxxx
x x x
How to balance forestry and biodiversity conservation – A view across Europe
and ecologically important trees, such as Sorbus or
oak species is another measure that is applied in a
number of examples (C 1–5, C 9, C 13, C 21, C 22,
C 28). Allowing and even promoting herbivores in
forests is an issue that has received attention for a
variety of reasons. Herbivores introduce dynamics
and disturbances that promote certain species (C 2,
C 14, C 18). Domesticated and can also help reduc-
ing fuel in re-prone forests and reduce the risk of
res (C 25). The return of predators is a very emo-
tive topic, but foresters are often grateful when
wolves return naturally in a region and inuence
the food web and trophic cascades. C 7 and C 20 are
interesting examples of enterprises with ecosys-
tems including large predators such as wolf, lynx,
and bear. C 23 showcases the potential positive
impact of wolves on tree regeneration in protec-
tion forests, specically on silver r regeneration.
The effect of the reintroduction of the pine marten
in England is an impressive example on the impor-
tance of predators in an ecosystem (Box C 18). The
Box C 20 describes the inuence of large predators
on forests and gives an insight on potential conse-
quences while wolves further spread across Europe.
Socio-economic tools:
Socio-economic tools are getting more and more
attention since education is changing and the gen-
eral appreciation and understanding of natural
processes is widely decreasing. Education and train-
ing are important for several of the enterprises
showcased in this book. Children, students, but also
professionals and the interested public are
addressed with special programmes and tools such
as the marteloscopes (Box C 4). The majority of the
presented cases offer or contribute to training pro-
grammes and education. This is complemented
with some examples from Switzerland (Waldlabor)
and overseas where major investments have been
made in education programmes (Box C 10, Box C 12,
and Box C 19). Creating awareness for production
processes in forests is receiving attention in some
cases (e.g. C 1, C 18, C 27) where locally produced
wood and non-wood products and services, includ-
ing biodiversity, are especially promoted as an
important part of the value chain. This goes along
with processes to educate people about the pro-
duction processes; the wood for products comes
from somewhere, and this means trees must be
felled to produce the wood, and the forests from
which these trees came are regenerated and deliver
other goods and services, including biodiversity
and protection against natural hazards. C 2, C 5, C 9
and C 18 promote such experiences to keep society
interested in and informed about forests. Selling
CO2 certicates is a new approach based on the
idea to reduce wood harvesting for a certain time
immediately increasing carbon sequestration (Box
C 5 and Box C 7). The measure is temporally limited
and wood harvesting can resume if the ecological
or societal boundary conditions change in the
future (Box C 5). The topic of ecosponsoring is
another measure that enterprises have developed
while cooperating with local industry and private
people. One idea presented in this book is that
companies and private people compensate forest
owners (e.g. private forest owners or communities)
for close-to-nature and biodiversity-friendly for-
ests. Two Box contributions (Box C 13 and Box C 15)
describe innovative approaches from Switzerland
and the Netherlands that may attract interest.
The contextualisation of the applied measures
is presented in table D 2 which assigns the specic
measures and tools to the successful application in
the practice examples. This should allow us to learn
from the experiences of other experts and to
receive inspiration to adapt ideas to other condi-
What is missing for widespread
successful application of integrative
forest management?
In this chapter, we have made the case for inte-
grated forest management as a promising approach
to meet future challenges arising from increasing
societal demands and environmental change in a
sustainable way. This approach allows different
views and demands to be brought together and
solve existing conicts to promote and secure the
forests and the delivery of their goods and services,
including biodiversity, for coming generations.
Nevertheless, the concept needs to be further
developed and the scientic basis can be further
broadened. Moreover, important policy-related
boundary conditions might need to be adapted
and forest policy and planning at different levels,
from the Pan-European level to the regional and
local levels, might consider the following points:
1) Consider targeted integrated forest
management as a core approach supporting
bioeconomy and biodiversity
Until now, forest policy in Europe has remained
rather fragmented. On the one hand the impor-
tance of wood as a key renewable resource to be
sustainably used is emphasised, and on the other
hand, forests are seen as a key place for nature and
biodiversity which need better conservation and
adapted measures (g. D 10). The thorough imple-
mentation of integrated forest management con-
cepts for the large majority of Europe’s forests that
are not strictly protected should be a long-term
ambition to be included in new national and
Europe-wide forestry strategies, bringing the two
perspectives of sustainable use of a natural resource
and nature conservation closer together (chapters
B 10, B 11). Nevertheless, special solutions need to
be developed to implement integrated forest man-
agement in private forests which cover large areas
of Europe.
2) Need for a strong European forest policy to
promote regional integrative forest manage-
ment approaches across the continent
Climate change is increasingly putting pressure on
both ‘traditional’ forest use and ‘traditional’ forest
biodiversity conservation strategies (chapters B 10,
B 11). Policy needs to encourage bottom-up action
of forest owners, managers, and biodiversity experts
to make our forests more (bio-)diverse and resilient.
Moreover, transparency, information, and commu-
nication on the multiple demands towards forests
and how forest management can deal with them
needs to be ensured. The widespread interest
among various stakeholders (forest owners, manag-
ers, and biodiversity experts) in integrating conser-
vation aspects in forest management should be bet-
ter exploited, and unsustainable forest management
practices should be banned. This would help to
avoid conicts at their roots. Finally, specically-tar-
geted incentives to private and public landowners
need to be provided to support them with the
implementation of integrated forest management.
Fig. D 10. Tree crowns of beech, cut off at the rst green branch and left in the forest with the aim to increase the
amount of deadwood in managed forests. The bottom part is used and sold as valuable timber, whereas the crown is
left for nature and serves as important habitat for a huge variety of species, a nutrient reservoir, and a water storing
element. The cost of this is the loss of energy wood. The measure is applied in the good practice example Ebrach (C 2)
(Photo: Ulrich Mergner).
How to balance forestry and biodiversity conservation – A view across Europe
3) Use of disturbances to accelerate climate
change adaptation and improve biodiversity
Disturbances such as storms or droughts and subse-
quent bark beetle infestations, newly introduced
pests and pathogens like the ash dieback (Coker
et al. 2019), or forest res have the potential to
fundamentally alter the ecological and also
socio-economic conditions over large areas within
very short timescales (chapter B 9). Aside from the
often dramatic consequences for the forest owners
and the delivery of targeted forest goods and ser-
vices, they also offer the chance to immediately
adapt the management objectives and accelerate
change where reasonable and necessary (chapter
B 1). Hence, disturbances need to become part of
forest planning and should be used to initiate
change, to rebuild, re-orientate, and develop the
forests for the future (g. D 11). Such an approach
will provide the different forest goods and services,
including biodiversity, in an optimised way, increas-
ing temporarily open areas and the amounts of
deadwood of different qualities, which are today
among the most missing natural elements in man-
aged forests (Thorn et al. 2018; Müller et al. 2019).
2 European National Forest Inventory Network (ENFIN): http://en
3 ICP Forests:
4) Forest monitoring must consider both
production and biodiversity parameters
Information on the state of biodiversity, the struc-
ture and the functioning of Europe’s forests is a
prerequisite for integrated forest biodiversity con-
servation approaches. Only such long-term moni-
toring approaches provide an independent means
to quantify needs and demands and to assess the
success of implemented management schemes
(chapters B 9, B 10, B 11). There are several long-
term forest monitoring networks in Europe, includ-
ing the well-established European National Forest
Inventory Network (ENFIN)2 and the International
Co-operative Programme on Assessment and Moni-
toring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests (ICP For-
ests3). Remote sensing technologies at the Euro-
pean scale need to be efciently combined with the
existing networks and new, but also already estab-
lished (e.g. Forest Europe) quantitative and qualita-
tive indicators on biodiversity and other ecosystem
services should be included in the monitoring
schemes to ensure that the data demanded by
practitioners and policy makers is generated, is con-
gruent/complimentary, and accessible at all policy
levels, as well as for society.
5) Integrated forest management should be
coordinated at the landscape level across the
Integrated forest management encompassing seg-
regated and multifunctional measures in opera-
tional planning must focus on the enterprise up to
the landscape level (g. D 12). Although the forest
enterprises are fully autonomous, a coordination
with respect to specic forest goods and services,
specically for measures to promote biodiversity,
needs to be achieved to optimise their sustainable
provision in a certain region at the landscape level.
In addition, as forests are elements of landscapes,
integrative forest management needs to be coordi-
nated at the landscape level, considering the inter-
faces to agriculture, water areas, and settlements
(g. D 13) – hence, even if difcult to reach, an
informal collaboration on the promotion of biodi-
versity across sectors would be benecial for a tar-
geted improvement of biodiversity conservation in
Fig. D 11. Fundamental change in species composition
after bark beetle attacks. After removal of infested
spruce, the remaining forest is a mixed broadleaved
forest with a few conifers (Photo: Ulrich Wasem).
Fig. D 12. The integrative forest management concept should link forest enterprises to increase the connectivity of
the biological infrastructure within and among the forest enterprises. Ideally, biodiversity measures should be
coordinated at the landscape level, considering also the interfaces to agriculture, water areas, and settlements.
Fig. D 13. Diverse landscape with forests, ponds, vineyards, agricultural elds, open areas, and villages. This intensively
managed area in southern Germany near Ebrach is a good example of a diverse and attractive landscape – for
humans and for the many other species that benet from such diverse and linked landscape elements (Photo:
Andreas Rigling).
Other forest goods and services such as recreation, protection, non-wood products
Biodiversity conservation; R = Reserves Wood production
FE: Independent forest enterprise with different priority services
FE 1
FE 2FE 3
FE 4
FE 5
FE 6
FE xy
Landscape, incl. non-forest areas
How to balance forestry and biodiversity conservation – A view across Europe
6) Use the motivation, experience, and support
amongst Europe’s forest owners, managers,
and biodiversity experts to advance integrated
forest management approaches
This book shows many examples of highly moti-
vated and experienced forest owners and manag-
ers (g. D 12) which promote the dialogue with
experts from nature conservation. Both groups
strive to integrate their knowledge in practical
approaches, and their work has built a strong foun-
dation for the advancement of the concept to man-
age Europe’s forests according to societal demands
(chapters C 1–C 32). The combined knowledge of
practitioners and experts from forest management
and nature conservation on biodiversity conserva-
tion should be made broadly available through sil-
vicultural training and web-based information (e.g.
marteloscope demonstration sites, see Box C 4). This
would allow better implementation of the integra-
tion of biodiversity conservation into forest man-
agement in practice, but without constraining the
diversity of perspectives and approaches. This strat-
egy needs to include effective organisational and
nancial support of forest managers, especially
when there are trade-offs between management
and conservation goals.
7) To create the forests of the future we need to
involve diverse groups and listen to a broad
spectrum of views
One of the key ndings of empirical social research
in the last years is the increasing social pressure for-
est managers in Europe face from a growing urban
population (Mann and Absher 2008). Integrative
forest management approaches that effectively
combine wood production and other goods and
services, including biodiversity conservation, can be
seen as a kind of ‘democratic’ instrument for spa-
tially combining ecological functions, achieving
synergies, and meeting as many expectations as
possible. Hence, they have the potential to inte-
grate conicting views in society to a signicant
degree when they are fully implemented and trans-
parently elaborated, documented, and communi-
cated (chapter B12).
8) Invest in an open science–policy–practice
interface to stimulate dialogue and mutual
learning across interest groups
Integrative forest management needs to implement
science-based approaches and translational science
is required to transfer evidence-based knowledge
into practice. Even though this book highlights the
success of such approaches, we need more support
for cross-sectoral, interdisciplinary research, includ-
ing forest sciences and nature conservation, at the
science–practice interface. It is important to provide
incentives for researchers to collaborate across aca-
demic sectors, disciplines, and schools of thoughts.
By generating inter-, cross-, and transdisciplinary sci-
ence, the ground can be paved for cross-sectoral
learning and progress concerning policy/society
integration. This is especially important to enable
science-based decision making for sustainable for-
est management and biodiversity conservation in
the face of future challenges with potentially
increasing demand for wood products for the bioec-
onomy (chapter B 5) and the pressure on forest as a
result of climate change (chapter B 9).
9) Promotion of pragmatic and courageous
regional approaches
As we learned from the good practice examples
(chapters C 1–C 32), there are many different
approaches that have already been successfully
applied all over Europe. There is not one solution
that can be applied, but there are many local solu-
tions, which are rooted in the regions and based on
local knowledge and expertise, local needs and
local traditions; these are in part highlighted in the
personal statements of the responsible persons of
these good practice examples. Promoting such initi-
atives is a straightforward and sustainable approach
to increasing the diversity within the European for-
est area (chapters B 2, B 3, B 12).
Hopefully, this book will be a starting point, a
catalyst, for upscaling from local good practice
management examples and initiatives to other
regions and countries in similar or diverging con-
texts. Reading about this selection of innovative
and constructive solutions to integrate the promo-
tion of biodiversity into forest management, and
also knowing that there are many more interesting
examples already practised all over Europe is a
cause for optimism and should encourage open
and respectful cross-disciplinary dialogue and cou-
rageous application.
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E.; Bendixen, D.; et al., 2020: Forest and woodland
replacement patterns following drought-related mor-
tality. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Coker, T.L.R.; Rozsypálek, J.; Edwards, A.; Harwood, T.P.;
Butfoy, L.; Buggs, R.J.A., 2019. Estimating mortality
rates of European ash (Fraxinus excelsior) under the ash
dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) epidemic. Plants,
People, Planet 1: 48–58.
García-Herrera, R.; Garrido-Perez, J.M.; Barriopedro, D.;
Ordóñez, C.; Vicente-Serrano, S.M.; Nieto, R.; et al.,
2019: The European 2016/17 drought. Journal of Cli-
mate 32: 3169–3187.
Hanewinkel, M.; Cullmann, D.A.; Schelhaas, M.-J.;
Nabuurs, G.-J.; Zimmermann, N.E., 2013: Climate
change may cause severe loss in the economic value of
European forest land. Nature Climate Change 3: 203–
IPBES 2019: Global assessment report on biodiversity and
ecosystem services of the Intergovernmental Sci-
ence-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Ser-
vices. Brondizio, E.S.; Settele, J.; Díaz, S.; Ngo, H.T. (eds).
IPBES secretariat, Bonn, Germany.
IPCC 2019: Climate Change and Land: an IPCC special
report on climate change, desertication, land degra-
dation, sustainable land management, food security,
and greenhouse gas uxes in terrestrial ecosystems:
Summary for Policymakers [Shukla, P.R.; Skea, J.; Calvo
Buendia, E.; Masson-Delmotte, V.; Pörtner, H.-O.; Rob-
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mate Change (IPCC), Geneva, Switzerland. 36 p.
Kraus, D.; Krumm, F. (eds) 2013: Integrative Approaches as
an Opportunity for the Conservation of Forest Biodiver-
sity. European Forest Institute, Joensuu, Finland. 284 p.
Mann, C.; Absher, J.D., 2008: Recreation conict potential
and management implications in the northern/central
Black Forest Nature Park, Journal of Environmental
Planning and Management 51: 363–380.
Müller, J., Noss, R.F., Thorn, S., Bässler, C., Leverkus, A.B.,
Lindenmayer, D., 2019. Increasing disturbance demands
new policies to conserve intact forest. Conservation Let-
ters 12: 1–7.
Schuldt, B.; Buras, A.; Hauck, M.; Vitasse, Y.; Arend, M.;
Hajek, P.; et al., 2020: Impact of extreme 2018 summer
drought on central European forests – a rst assess-
ment. Basic and Applied Ecology 45: 86–103.
Schwaab, J.; Davin, E.L.; Bebi, P.; Duguay-Tetzlaff, A.;
Waser, L.T.; Haeni, M.; Meier, R., 2020: Increasing the
broad-leaved tree fraction in European forests miti-
gates hot temperature extremes. Scientic Reports 10,
Thom, D.; Seidl, R., 2015: Natural disturbance impacts on
ecosystem services and biodiversity in temperate and
boreal forests. Biological Reviews 91 (2016) 760–781.
Thorn, S.; Bässler, C.; Burton, P.J.; Cahall, R.E.; Campbell,
J.L.; Castro, J.; et al., 2018: Impacts of salvage logging
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grated approach to forest biodiversity conservation in
Europe – assessment and actions needed. Working
paper, European Network Integrate (unpublished).
Forests cover about a third of the European land area and
provide a multitude of ecosystem services. They are
subject to constant change and increasing demands with
respect to the ecosystem services they provide. As well
as provision of timber, non-timber forest goods (e.g.
berries and mushrooms), clean water, carbon sequestra-
tion, and protection against natural disasters, there is
increasing emphasis being placed on conservation and
promotion of biodiversity within forests. However,
the state of biodiversity in European forests varies widely.
Because of the different biogeographic, sociocultural,
political, and climatic conditions at small scales, there is
a wide variety of situations, approaches, and legacies
across the continent.
This book strives to show the challenges that forest
managers are faced with to full the societal demands
with regard to forests, and especially to integrate the
promotion of biodiversity.
In a rst section (12 chapters), 44 authors from science,
policy, and practice describe the driving factors of forest
management; these factors include national laws
and legacies, ownership structures, forest history, and
socio-structural conditions. In a second section,
113 authors present 32 case examples from 19 European
countries that demonstrate the different approaches
to integrate the locally requested ecosystem services.
These experiences are synthesised in a nal section, and
a toolbox of integrative measures is presented that
is intended to support forest owners and managers to
choose appropriate measures for targeted integrated
management in their forests.
ISBN 978-3-905621-62-4 / DOI:10.16904/envidat.196
... Integrated forest management that applies multifunctional, close-to-nature management principles (Aggestam et al., 2020) will need to be addressed at an enterprise or even at a landscape level. This is necessary to ensure habitat connectivity within forests and consideration of interfaces to other ecosystems and land uses such as open land and agriculture but also water bodies or settlements (Chazdon, 2018;Krumm et al, 2020a). Krumm et al. (2020b) present a set of case examples of such integrative forest management approaches tailored to the local context (see Fig. 7). Figure 7. Example of an integrative forest management approach in a forest enterprise. ...
... Therefore, conservation of these species can only be met by strictly protected forest areas (Lõhmus et al., 2004;Sabatini et al., 2020a). In addition, although integrative forest management approaches can contribute to forest adaptation to climate change (Krumm et al., 2020a), they lack the forest complexity that characterises old-growth forests and provides related high diversity and enhanced forest resilience at a level that is difficult to replicate in managed forests (Puettmann et al., 2008). However, as discussed in section 5.2, strictly protected forests with no-intervention may also limit the natural adaptive capacity due to the rate of climate change that exceeds unassisted species migration rates. ...
Full-text available
Primary and old-growth forests in the EU are extremely rare and threatened, yet play an irreplaceable role in biodiversity conservation and the provision of other ecosystem services such as carbon storage. Recognising this, the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 sets the target to strictly protect all remaining primary and old-growth forests. This target is part of a wider goal to protect 30% of EU land and to dedicate 10% of EU land for strict protection. Strict protection of the remaining EU primary and old-growth forests is a first and crucial step to ensure their long-term conservation. Despite the importance of this target, its implementation is currently prevented by several unanswered questions that require discussion among science and policy experts. This includes, for example, the question of how old-growth forest should be defined and where remaining primary and old-growth forests are located. In addition, there are ongoing discussions of how to best support strict protection of primary and old-growth forests and how to maintain and restore biodiversity, for example by preserving and allowing old-growth attributes to develop in forests that are managed for purposes other than conservation. This study specifically focuses on old-growth forests, given the increasing debate around this type of forest in Europe and their importance for forest biodiversity, but also includes information that is relevant for primary forests in a wider sense. The objective of this study is to inform discussions surrounding the implementation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 target to strictly protect primary and old-growth forests. The methods of this study included a review of scientific literature on (i) Defining old-growth forests, (ii) Evidence of old and old-growth forests in Europe; (iii) Approaches to protect old-growth forests and to maintain and develop old-growth attributes, (iv) Associated benefits, consequences, and potential trade-offs of old-growth forest protection and management and development of old-growth forest attributes; and (v) Policy implications.
... Spiecker 2003;Heine et al. 2019;Ammer et al. 2008). Hence, both the adaptation to climate change and the future management of beech-dominated forests are major issues for their sustainable use and biodiversity conservation (Krumm et al. 2020;Antonucci et al. 2021). ...
Full-text available
The high tree mortality during the dry and hot years of 2018–2019 in Europe has triggered concerns on the future of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) forests under climate change and raised questions as to whether forest management may increase tree mortality. We compared long‐term mortality rates of beech between managed and unmanaged stands including the years 2018‐2019 at 11 sites in Hessen, Germany. We hypothesized that mortality would increase with climate water deficits during the growing season, initial stand density, decreasing dominance of trees, and decreasing intensity of tree removals. Initial stand density, tree removals, the climate water balance and the competitive status of trees were used as predictor variables. Mean annual natural mortality rates ranged between 0.5% and 2.1%. Even in the drought years, we observed no signs of striking canopy disintegration. The significantly higher mortality (1.6–2.1%) in unmanaged stands during the drought years 2018 and 2019 was largely confined to suppressed trees. There was no significant increase of mortality in managed stands during the drought years, but a shift in mortality towards larger canopy trees. Our study did not confirm a general influence of management, in the form of tree removals, on mortality rates. Yet, we found that during drought years, management changed the distribution of mortality within the tree community. To analyse the effects of management on mortality rates more comprehensively, a wider gradient in site moisture conditions, including sites drier than in this study, and longer post‐drought periods should be employed. During the recent drought years mortality of suppressed beech trees increased in unmanaged closed stands, while in managed partially harvested stands the focus of mortality shifted towards the more dominant beech trees.
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Significance Forests are experiencing growing risks of drought-induced mortality in a warming world. Yet, ecosystem dynamics following drought mortality remain unknown, representing a major limitation to our understanding of the ecological consequences of climate change. We provide an emerging picture of postdrought ecological trajectories based on field indicators of forest dynamics. Replacement patterns following mortality indicate limited short-term persistence of predrought dominant tree species, highlighting the potential for major ecosystem reorganization in the coming decades. The great variability of the observed dynamics within and among species reinforces the primary influence of drought characteristics and ecosystem legacies, modulated by land use, management, and past disturbances, on ongoing drought-related species turnover and their potential implications for future forest biodiversity and ecosystem services.
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Forests influence climate through a myriad of chemical, physical and biological processes and are an essential lever in the efforts to counter climate change. The majority of studies investigating potential climate benefits from forests have focused on forest area changes, while changes to forest management, in particular those affecting species composition, have received much less attention. Using a statistical model based on remote sensing observations over Europe, we show that broad-leaved tree species locally reduce land surface temperatures in summer compared to needle-leaved species. The summer mean cooling effect related to an increase in broad-leaved tree fraction of 80% is relatively modest (~ 0.3–0.75 K), but is amplified during exceptionally warm periods. The reduction of daily maximum temperatures during the hottest days reaches up to 1.8 K in the Atlantic region and up to 1.5 K in Continental and Mediterranean regions. Hot temperature extremes adversely affect humans and ecosystems and are expected to become more frequent in a future climate. Thus, forest management strategies aiming to increase the fraction of broad-leaved species could help to reduce some of the adverse local impacts caused by hot temperature extremes. However, the overall benefits and trade-offs related to an increase in the broad-leaved tree fraction in European forests needs to be further investigated and assessed carefully when adapting forest management strategies.
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In 2018, Central Europe experienced one of the most severe and long-lasting summer drought and heat wave ever recorded. Before 2018, the 2003 millennial drought was often invoked as the example of a “hotter drought”, and was classified as the most severe event in Europe for the last 500 years. First insights now confirm that the 2018 drought event was climatically more extreme and had a greater impact on forest ecosystems of Austria, Germany and Switzerland than the 2003 drought. Across this region, mean growing season air temperature from April to October was more than 3.3°C above the long-term average, and 1.2°C warmer than in 2003. Here, we present a first impact assessment of the severe 2018 summer drought and heatwave on Central European forests. In response to the 2018 event, most ecologically and economically important tree species in temperate forests of Austria, Germany and Switzerland showed severe signs of drought stress. These symptoms included exceptional low foliar water potentials crossing the threshold for xylem hydraulic failure in many species and observations of widespread leaf discoloration and premature leaf shedding. As a result of the extreme drought stress, the 2018 event caused unprecedented drought-induced tree mortality in many species throughout the region. Moreover, unexpectedly strong drought-legacy effects were detected in 2019. This implies that the physiological recovery of trees was impaired after the 2018 drought event, leaving them highly vulnerable to secondary drought impacts such as insect or fungal pathogen attacks. As a consequence, mortality of trees triggered by the 2018 events is likely to continue for several years. Our assessment indicates that many common temperate European forest tree species are more vulnerable to extreme summer drought and heat waves than previously thought. As drought and heat events are likely to occur more frequently with the progression of climate change, temperate European forests might approach the point for a substantial ecological and economic transition. Our assessment also highlights the urgent need for a pan-European ground-based monitoring network suited to track individual tree mortality, supported by remote sensing products with high spatial and temporal resolution to track, analyse and forecast these transitions.
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Damage to ash trees by ash dieback caused by the emerging fungal pathogen Hymenoscyphus fraxineus is impacting people across Europe. This poses challenges to: public safety; productivity of commercial forestry; green spaces and human wellbeing; and ecosystem services and carbon sequestration. Here, we seek to quantify the impact of ash dieback on tree mortality by analyzing surveys counting the proportion of trees that have died in sites across Europe. However, more and better data are needed to inform policy makers, foresters, conservationists, and other stakeholders as they plan for a long‐term future with ash dieback. The ash dieback epidemic, caused by the fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, has been present in Europe for over 20 years and caused widespread damage and mortality in ash tree (Fraxinus excelsior) populations. Ash is a major natural capital asset and plays an important role in nature’s contribution to people in Europe. Here, we present a meta‐analysis of surveys of ash mortality due to ash dieback, and a time‐dependent model to estimate longer term mortality. In plantations established previous to the arrival of the epidemic, we analyze 12 surveys, finding a maximum recorded mortality of ~85%. In woodlands with exposure to ash dieback of between 4 and 20 years, we analyze 36 surveys, finding a maximum recorded mortality (which may have missed some dead trees) of ~70%. We also analyze 10 surveys of naturally regenerated saplings, finding maximum recorded mortality of ~82%. We apply logistic models to these data sets to seek longer term predictions. More data are needed before our models can be relied upon for policy decisions. If survival found so far in woodlands is due in part to heritable resistance, natural selection or a breeding program may allow future recovery of ash populations in Europe. We review surveys of ash tree death due to ash dieback in Europe and find a maximum mortality so far of 70% of trees in woodlands and 85% of trees in plantations established before the epidemic. It is still hard to predict what the long‐term outcomes will be, and more data are needed.
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Ongoing controversy over logging the ancient Białowieża Forest in Poland symbolizes a global problem for policies and management of the increasing proportion of the earth's intact forest that is subject to post-disturbance logging. We review the extent of, and motivations for, post-disturbance logging in protected and unprotected forests globally. An unprecedented level of logging in protected areas and other places where green-tree harvest would not normally occur is driven by economic interests and a desire for pest control. To avoid failure of global initiatives dedicated to reducing the loss of species, five key policy reforms are necessary: (1) salvage logging must be banned from protected areas; (2) forest planning should address altered disturbance regimes for all intact forests to ensure that significant areas remain undisturbed by logging; (3) new kinds of integrated analyses are needed to assess the potential economic benefits of salvage logging against its ecological, economic, and social costs; (4) global and regional maps of natural disturbance regimes should be created to guide better spatio-temporal planning of protected areas and undisturbed forests outside reserves; and (5) improved education and communication programs are needed to correct widely-held misconceptions about natural disturbances.
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Logging to "salvage" economic returns from forests affected by natural disturbances has become increasingly prevalent globally. Despite potential negative effects on biodiversity, salvage logging is often conducted, even in areas otherwise excluded from logging and reserved for nature conservation, inter alia because strategic priorities for post-disturbance management are widely lacking. A review of the existing literature revealed that most studies investigating the effects of salvage logging on biodiversity have been conducted less than 5 years following natural disturbances, and focused on non-saproxylic organisms. A meta-analysis across 24 species groups revealed that salvage logging significantly decreases numbers of species of eight taxonomic groups. Richness of dead wood dependent taxa (i.e. saproxylic organisms) decreased more strongly than richness of non-saproxylic taxa. In contrast, taxonomic groups typically associated with open habitats increased in the number of species after salvage logging. By analysing 134 original species abundance matrices, we demonstrate that salvage logging significantly alters community composition in 7 of 17 species groups, particularly affecting saproxylic assemblages. Synthesis and applications. Our results suggest that salvage logging is not consistent with the management objectives of protected areas. Substantial changes, such as the retention of dead wood in naturally disturbed forests, are needed to support biodiversity. Future research should investigate the amount and spatio-temporal distribution of retained dead wood needed to maintain all components of biodiversity.
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In many parts of the world forest disturbance regimes have intensified recently, and future climatic changes are expected to amplify this development further in the coming decades. These changes are increasingly challenging the main objectives of forest ecosystem management, which are to provide ecosystem services sustainably to society and maintain the biological diversity of forests. Yet a comprehensive understanding of how disturbances affect these primary goals of ecosystem management is still lacking. We conducted a global literature review on the impact of three of the most important disturbance agents (fire, wind, and bark beetles) on 13 different ecosystem services and three indicators of biodiversity in forests of the boreal, cool- and warm-temperate biomes. Our objectives were to (i) synthesize the effect of natural disturbances on a wide range of possible objectives of forest management, and (ii) investigate standardized effect sizes of disturbance for selected indicators via a quantitative meta-analysis. We screened a total of 1958 disturbance studies published between 1981 and 2013, and reviewed 478 in detail. We first investigated the overall effect of disturbances on individual ecosystem services and indicators of biodiversity by means of independence tests, and subsequently examined the effect size of disturbances on indicators of carbon storage and biodiversity by means of regression analysis. Additionally, we investigated the effect of commonly used approaches of disturbance management, i.e. salvage logging and prescribed burning. We found that disturbance impacts on ecosystem services are generally negative, an effect that was supported for all categories of ecosystem services, i.e. supporting, provisioning, regulating, and cultural services (P < 0.001). Indicators of biodiversity, i.e. species richness, habitat quality and diversity indices, on the other hand were found to be influenced positively by disturbance (P < 0.001). Our analyses thus reveal a 'disturbance paradox', documenting that disturbances can put ecosystem services at risk while simultaneously facilitating biodiversity. A detailed investigation of disturbance effect sizes on carbon storage and biodiversity further underlined these divergent effects of disturbance. While a disturbance event on average causes a decrease in total ecosystem carbon by 38.5% (standardized coefficient for stand-replacing disturbance), it on average increases overall species richness by 35.6%. Disturbance-management approaches such as salvage logging and prescribed burning were neither found significantly to mitigate negative effects on ecosystem services nor to enhance positive effects on biodiversity, and thus were not found to alleviate the disturbance paradox. Considering that climate change is expected to intensify natural disturbance regimes, our results indicate that biodiversity will generally benefit from such changes while a sustainable provisioning of ecosystem services might come increasingly under pressure. This underlines that disturbance risk and resilience require increased attention in ecosystem management in the future, and that new approaches to addressing the disturbance paradox in management are needed. © 2015 The Authors. Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society.
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Management goals and ecosystem functions such as biodiversity conservation can be met in both set-aside forest reserves and off-reserve forests. The major argument for well developed and protected forest reserves is the increase of alpha-diversity with extended succession periods and turn-over cycles. However, the establishment of new protected areas is limited due to space and competing management goals. Trade-offs have to be made where such conflicts of interest occur. Accordingly, emphasis is shifted towards integrating rare forest biotopes and structural attributes into production forests. Forests in Central Europe are often managed on the basis of silvicultural principles with high forest management standards. Integrative forest management aims to maximize the cross-section between the different main functions of modern forestry: production, protection and conservation. The area of synergy, however, is limited and a certain amount of exclusive area is needed to guarantee different ecosystem functions. The present volume contains a compilation of the results of the research project Integrate. Based on the contributions from more than seventy renowned scientists in this field, Integrate has attempted to make available the most recent knowledge and the best international scientific expertise on the complex relationships, trade-offs and emerging challenges regarding the integration of forest biodiversity conservation into forest management.
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This study explores conflict in recreational use of the Black Forest Nature Park (BFNP) by six different nature sports groups as a function of infrastructure, forest management and other users. A multi-step, methodological triangulation conflict model from US recreation management was applied and tested in the Park. Results from two groups, hikers and mountain bikers, are analysed in depth. The main conflict potentials were due to infrastructure and value conflicts. These were influenced by various visitor characteristics such as resource attachment, experiences, activity-style, expectations and motives. Results of quantitative data analysis were further interpreted by interviews with agency and group leaders. This methodological combination reveals a robust understanding of recreation conflict and management in the BFNP.
We have analyzed the record-breaking drought that affected western and central Europe from July 2016 to June 2017. It caused widespread impacts on water supplies, agriculture, and hydroelectric power production, and was associated with forest fires in Iberia. Unlike common continental-scale droughts, this event displayed a highly unusual spatial pattern affecting both northern and southern European regions. Drought conditions were observed over 90% of central-western Europe, hitting record-breaking values (with respect to 1979–2017) in 25% of the area. Therefore, the event can be considered as the most severe European drought at the continental scale since at least 1979. The main dynamical forcing of the drought was the consecutive occurrence of blocking and subtropical ridges, sometimes displaced from their typical locations. This led to latitudinal shifts of the jet stream and record-breaking positive geopotential height anomalies over most of the continent. The reduction in moisture transport from the Atlantic was relevant in the northern part of the region, where decreased precipitation and increased sunshine duration were the main contributors to the drought. On the other hand, thermodynamic processes, mostly associated with high temperatures and the resulting increase in atmospheric evaporative demand, were more important in the south. Finally, using flow circulation analogs we show that this drought was more severe than it would have been in the early past.