Joakim Hjältén

Joakim Hjältén
Professor in Animal Ecology (especially Plant-Herbivore Interactions and Conservation Biology). Founder and coordinator of the forest BIOCORE research group Primary research interest: • Plant-herbivore interactions • Sustainable forest use • Conservation biology • Restoration ecology in policy and practice • Ecological risks and benefits with GM trees • Chemical ecology • Insect ecology


 I am an experimental ecologist with a focus on conservation biology, restoration ecology, plant-herbivore interaction, chemical ecology, community and population ecology. More specifically, I focus on evaluating and developing restoration methods for degraded habitats aimed at promoting species biodiversity. I also compare the benefits and risks with traditional and future forestry (e.g. the use of GM trees, ecological consequences of intensified forestry practices and bioenergy harvest). I work in multidisciplinary work on e.g. people’s attitudes to changes in forestry practices. Throughout my career I have also studied various aspects of plant-herbivore interaction in various places on the globe. My research findings are highly relevant for addressing problems related to forestry and species conservation.   



Current research projects

2017. Balansera motstridiga mål i skogen: virkesproduktion, jakt och biologisk mångfald. Formas (3 year grant total 3 000 000Sek). Co-applicant, main applicant A. Hof.

2016. Long-term landscape effects of biofuel extraction on biodiversity. The Swedish Energy Agency (2 year grant 1 500 000sek).

2016. Afterlife of GM trees: the response of saproxylic organisms to dead wood from GM trees. Formas (3 year grant total 3 000 000Sek)

2016. Uneven-aged forest management and declining bird species: Does one (tree) size fit all? Formas (3 year grant total 2 997 000sek), co-applicant, main applicant Jean-Michel Roberge. 

2015. Forest restoration and the risk for pest outbreaks. The Kempe foundation (700 000Sek).

2014. Stubbrytning - en avvägning mellan ekonomi och biodiversitet. Ångpanneföreningen (500 000:-) co-applicant, main applicant J. Andersson.

2012. Habitat restoration to conserve saproxylic species in a managed forest landscape: a large-scale long-term field experiment revisited. The Royal Swedish Academy of Science (120 000:-), Co-applicant, Main applicant T. Johansson.

2012. How many stumps can be harvested without effects on biodiversity? Swedish Energy agency (3 year grant total 1 655 000:-).

2012. Testing the efficiency of uneven aged forestry as a conservation tool to promote biodiversity and ecological legacies. Formas (3 year grant total 2 606 000 Sek).

2012. Testing the efficiency of uneven aged forestry as a conservation tool to promote biodiversity (4 year grant Lammska stiftelsen 2 000 000:-)

2012. Long-term importance of dead wood restoration in a managed landscape: a large-scale long-term field experiment revisited (Carl Tryggers Fundation 200 000:-).

2011. Restoration of natural forest dynamics: a test of different strategies at stand and substrate level in forest set-asides. Formas (3 year PhD-grant, total 2 686 000:-)

2010. Biodiversity islands in coniferous forest landscapes: land-use history and restoration focusing on deciduous trees. CMF postdoc grant, Co-applicant, Main applicant T. Josefsson.

2009. Ecosystem restoration in policy and practice: restore, develop, adapt. FORMAS (4 year grant, total 20 milj) Co-applicant (ca 6 milj to my part of the project), Main applicant Christer Nilsson, Umeå University.


Supervision PhD students                                                             Examination year

1. Martijn Versluijs. Deputy supervisor                                         Planned 2018

2. Klara Joelsson. Main supervisor.                                               Planned 2017

3. Rory Hägglund. Main supervisor.                                               2016

4. Andreas Tiselius. Deputy supervisor.                                         2016

5. Eliza Hasselquist. Deputy supervisor.                                        2015

6. David Bell. (Licentiate) Main supervisor.                                  2015

7. David Tingström. (Licentiate). Main supervisor.                      2012

8. Jon Andersson. Main supervisor.                                                2012

9. Petter Axelsson. Main supervisor.                                              2011

10. Fredrik Stenbacka. Main supervisor.                                        2009

11. Patrik Blomberg. Deputy supervisor.                                        2007

12. Therese Johansson. Main supervisor.                                       2006

13. Gert Olsson1.  Main supervisor.                                                 2003

14. Mats Nilson (Licentiate). Main supervisor.                              2002

15. Per Hallgren. Main supervisor.                                                  2002

16. Benedicte Albrectsen1. Main supervisor.                                  2000 

1 (initially assistant supervisor)
Mentorship post-doctoral fellows                                                    Duration

1. Anne-Maarit Hekkala                                                                   2016-2017

2. Simon Kärvemo                                                                            2015-2016

3. Anouchka Hof 24 months                                                            2011-2015

4. Torbjörn Josefsson 24 months                                                    2011-2013

5. Jörgen Olsson, 24 months                                                            2010-2012

6. Mats Dynesius, 24 months                                                          2006-2008

7. Jacek Hilszanzki, 12 months                                                        2004

8. Heloise Gibb, 24 months                                                             2003-2004

Publikationer i urval

SCIENTIFIC PUBLICATIONS in refereed journals (last five years). Total number of citation 7 December 2016: 2994, h-index 30, I10 index 70 according toGoogle scholar: according to Web of knowledge; 1800 citations, h-index 24.

93. Andersson J, Dynesius M, Hjältén J. 2016. Short-term response to stump harvesting by the ground flora in boreal clear-cuts. Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research (in press).

92. Hjältén J, Nilsson C, Jörgensen D, Bell D. 2016. Forest‒Stream Linkages, Anthropogenic Stressors and Climate Change: Implications for Restoration Planning Bioscience 66: 646–654

91. Work T, Andersson J, Ranius T, Hjältén J. 2016. Defining stump harvesting retention targets required to maintain saproxylic beetle biodiversity. Forest Ecology and Management 371: 90–102

90. Johansson T, Hjältén J, Olsson J, Dynesius M, Roberge JM. 2016. Long-term effects of clear-cutting on epigaeic beetle assemblages in boreal forests. Forest Ecology and Management 359: 65-73

89. Felton, A., Gustafsson, L., Roberge, J-M., Ranius, T., Hjältén, J., Rudolphi, J., Lindbladh, M., Weslien, J., Rist, L., Brunet, J., Felton, A.M. 2016. How climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies can threaten or enhance the biodiversity of production forests: Insights from Sweden. Biological Conservation 194: 11-20.

88. Hägglund R. Hekkala A-M, Hjältén J. et al. 2015. Positives effects of ecological restoration on rare and threatened flat bugs (Heteroptera: Aradidae). Journal of Insect Conservation 19:1089–1099, DOI 10.1007/s10841-015-9824-z

87. Bell D, Hjältén J, Jørgensen D, Nilsson C and Johansson T. 2015. Saproxylic beetles benefit from forest restoration the white-backed woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos) Ecosphere 6(12):278. 1890/ES14-00551.1

86. Hjältén J and Axelsson EP 2015. GM trees with increased resistance to herbivores: trait efficiency and their potential to promote tree growth. Frontiers in Plant Science 6-279.

85. Lindberg E. Roberge J-M, Johansson T, Hjältén J, 2015. Can airborne laser scanning (ALS) and satellite images be used to predict abundance and species richness of birds and beetles in boreal forest? Remote Sensing 7: 4233-4252.

84. Andersson J, Hjältén J, Dynesius M. 2015. Wood-Inhabiting Beetles in Low Stumps, High Stumps and Logs on Boreal Clear-Cuts: Implications for Dead Wood Management. PLoS ONE 10(3): e0118896. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0118896.

83. Scogings P, Hattas D, Skarpe C, Hjältén J, Dziba L, Zobolo A, Rooke T, 2015. Seasonal variations in nutrients and secondary metabolites in semi-arid savannas depend on year and species. Journal of Arid Environments 114:54-61.  

82. Eliza Maher Hasselquist, Christer Nilsson, Joakim Hjältén, Dolly Jørgensen, Lovisa Lind and Lina E. Polvi 2015. Time for recovery of riparian plants in restored northern Swedish streams: a chronosequence study. Ecological Applications 25: 1373-1389

81. Gustafsson L, Felton A, Felton A, Brunet J, Caruso J. Hjältén J, Lindbladh M, Ranius T, Roberge J-M, and Weslien J. 2015. Natural versus national boundaries: The importance of considering biogeographical patterns in forest conservation policy. Conservation Letters 8(1), 50–57

80. Geijer, E., Andersson J., Bostedt, G., Brännlund, R., Hjältén J. 2014. Safeguarding species richness vs. increasing the use of renewable energy—The effect of stump harvesting on two environmental goals. Journal of Forest Economics 20: 111-125

79. Scogings PF, Hjältén J, Skarpe C, Hattas D, Zobolo, A, Dziba L, and Rooke T. 2014. Nutrient and secondary metabolite concentrations in a savanna are independently affected by large herbivores and shoot growth rate. Plant Ecology 215:73-82.

78. Dolly Jørgensen, Christer Nilsson, Anouschka R. Hof, Eliza M. Hasselquist, Susan Baker, F. Stuart Chapin III, Katarina Eckerberg, Joakim Hjältén, Lina Polvi, and Laura A. Meyerson 2014. Policy language in restoration ecology. Restoration Ecology 22: 1–4.

     77. Gibb, H, Johansson, T, Stenbacka, F, Hjältén, J. 2013. Functional roles affect diversity-succession relationships for boreal beetles. PLoS ONE 8(8): e72764. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0072764.

76. Hjältén J, Axelsson EP, Julkunen-Tiitto R, Wennström A, Pilate G. 2013. Innate and introduced resistance traits in genetically modified aspen trees and their effect on leaf beetle feeding. PLoS ONE 8(9): e73819. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0073819.

75. Johansson T, Hjältén J, de Jong J, och von Stedingk H, 2013. Environmental considerations in managed stands: a review of their importance for biodiversity. Forest Ecology and Management 303: 98–112.

74. Angelstam P, Roberge J-M, Axelsson R, Elbakidze M, Bergman K-O, Dahlberg A, Degerman E, Eggers S, Esseen P-A, Hjältén J, Johansson J, Müller J, Paltto H, Soloviy I, Snäll T, Törnblom J. 2013. Evidence-based versus negotiated knowledge for assessment of ecological sustainability: the Swedish Forest Stewardship Council standard as a case study. AMBIO 42:229–240

73. Scogings, P.F., Hjältén, J. & Skarpe, C. 2013. Does large herbivore removal affect secondary metabolites, nutrients and growth in woody species in semi-arid savannas? Journal of Arid Environments 88: 4-8.

72. Olsson, J., Johansson, T., Jonsson, BG and Hjältén, J., Edman, M. and Ericson, L. 2012. Landscape and substrate properties affect species richness and community composition of saproxylic beetles. Forest Ecology and Management 286: 108–120.

71. Hjältén, J., Stenbacka, F., Pettersson, R., Gibb, H., Johansson, T., Danell, K., Ball, J. P. and Hilszczański, J. 2012 Micro and macro-habitat associations in saproxylic beetles: implications for biodiversity management. PLoS ONE 7(7): e41100. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0041100.

70. Axelsson PE, Hjältén J. 2012. Tolerance and growth responses of populus hybrids and their genetically modified varieties to simulated leaf damage and harvest. Forest Ecology and Management 276: 217–223.

69. Joakim Hjältén, E. Petter Axelsson, Thomas Whitham, Carri J. LeRoy, Riitta Julkunen-Tiitto, Anders Wennström, Gilles Pilate. 2012. Increased resistance of Bt aspens to Phratora vitelinae leads to increased plant growth under experimental conditions. PLoS ONE 7(1): e30640. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0030640.

68. Andersson J., Hjältén J. and Dynesius M. 2012. Long-term effects of stump harvesting and landscape composition on beetle assemblages in the hemiboreal forest of Sweden. Forest Ecol. Manage. 271: 75-80, doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2012.01.030

67. E. Petter Axelsson, Joakim Hjältén, Carri J. LeRoy, Riitta Julkunen-Tiitto, Anders Wennström, Gilles Pilate and Thomas Whitham 2012. Performance of insect-resistant Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)-expressing aspens under semi-natural field conditions including natural herbivory in Sweden. Forest Ecology and Managements 264: 167–171.

66. Scogings, P.F., Johansson, T., Hjältén, J. & Kruger, J. 2012. Responses of woody vegetation to exclusion of large herbivores in semi-arid savannas. Austral Ecology 37, 56–66. doi:10.1111/j.1442-9993.2011.02249.x

65. E. Petter Axelsson, Joakim Hjältén, Carri J. LeRoy, Riitta Julkunen-Tiitto, Anders Wennström, Gilles Pilate and Thomas Whitham 2011. Leaf litter from insect-resistant transgenic trees causes changes in aquatic insect community composition. J of Applied Ecology 48, 1472–1479.

64. Hattas, Dawood, Joakim Hjältén, Riitta Julkunen-Tiitto Peter F Scogings and Tuulikki Rooke. 2011. Differential phenolic profiles in six African savanna woody species in relation to antiherbivore defense. Phytochemistry 72: 1796–1803. doi:10.1016/j.phytochem.2011.05.007.

63. Scogings, P.F., Hjältén, J. & Skarpe, C. 2011. Secondary metabolites and nutrients of woody plants in relation to browsing intensity in African savannas. Oecologia 167:1063–1073. DOI 10.1007/s00442-011-2042-9

62. E. Petter Axelsson, Joakim Hjältén, Thomas G. Whitham, Riitta Julkunen-Tiitto, Gilles Pilate, Anders Wennström 2011. Leaf ontogeny interacts with Bt-modification to affect innate resistance in GM aspens. Chemoecology 21:161–169.

61. Jörgen Olssona*, Bengt Gunnar Jonssonb, Joakim Hjälténc, Lars Ericsona . 2011. Addition of coarse woody debris - the early fungal succession on Picea abies logs in managed forests and reserves Biological Conservation, 144: 1100–1110. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2010.12.029. (Number of citations: n=2, impact factor 3.2)

60. Johansson, T, Andersson J. Hjältén, J, Dynesius M, Ecke F. 2011. Short-term responses of beetle assemblages to wildfire in a region with more than 100 years of fire suppression. Insect Conservation and Diversity. 4: 142-151. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-4598.2010.00114.x


Relaterade sidor:

Professor vid Institutionen för vilt, fisk och miljö
Telefon: 090-7868400, 070-3178183
Arbetsbeskrivning: My main research interest is conservation and sustainable use in forest ecosystems. In addition, my research also includes plant-animal interactions and chemical ecology. More specifically, I focus on conservation issues related to traditional and future forestry (e.g. environmental risk with use of GM trees, ecological consequences of intensified forestry practices) and restoration ecology. But I also have experience of multidisciplinary work on e.g. peoples attitudes to changes in forestry practices.
Inst för vilt, fisk och miljö
901 83 UMEÅ
Besöksadress: Skogsmarksgränd, Umeå