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Anne-Maarit Hekkala

Anne-Maarit Hekkala
Researcher, associate professor, studying various questions related to forest biodiversity. Specialty in deadwood-depended beetles and fungi, forest restoration with fire and deadwood enrichment. Deputy Head of Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies. Coordinator of PhD-students


My research interests fall broadly on biodiversity, conservation and restoration of boreal forests. My main research questions have been how different forest restoration and alternative forest management methods that resemble natural disturbances (forest fire, small-scale storm damage, gap-cutting, uneven-age management), can affect biodiversity in short- and long-term. To study these questions, I have used deadwood-dependent beetles and flat bugs (Heteroptera), bark beetles, pollinators, polypores, forest floor vegetation and tree stand structure as study objects. I also work on questions related to measures of biodiversity, how to best recognize forest stands that should be conserved and what are the best proxies of biodiversity. In addition, I study the networks of species dependent on deadwood and wild pollinators in my Formas-project, assess how Sveaskog's Ecoparks affect biodiversity of beetles and wild bees in the long term collaboration project with Sveakog. I am even involved in projects on ecological offsetting, short-rotation broadleaf forests, uneven-aged forestry, forest damage, to mention some examples of the broadness of my research topics.


Course leader in the distance course Forest Animals (on the most applied course in SLU 2022 and 2023), assistant course leader in the distance course Forest Conservation Biology. I also teach in various courses in class, in the field and in recorded lectures about biodiversity, restoration, red-listing, and species recognition (indicator species, insects).


In Ecopark-project we study the landscape's role on preserving biodiversity. This study is co-finansed by Sveaskog, WWF, Foundation of Oskar & Lili Lamms Minne and Carl Tryggers Foundation.

Networks of pollinators and wood-decaying organisms are studied in my Formas-project.“The impacts of forest restoration on ecological networks of wood-decaying organisms and wild pollinators”.  The restoration project is presented here.

In the very Northern Sweden, Gällivare, we study the effects of deadwood translocation on deadwood dependent beetles, bryophytes, fungi and lichens. Aitik-project is presented here.

In PhD-project co-financed by Forest Damage Center, we study how uneven-aged forest management and damage by bark beetles and ungulates are related. The study begun 2023 and will continue until 2027. 


Collaboration with Sveaskog (Effekt 20, project leader 2019-)

Collaboration with Stora Enso (KPI, Key performance indicators 2022-)

Collaboration with Boliden (AITIK coppar mine, ecological compensation 2017-)


12/2017-        Researcher, Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden

12/2015 -

11/2017         Postdoc, Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden

07.11.2015    PhD in Ecology, Dept. of Ecology, University of Oulu, Finland

2011-2015     PhD-student, Dept. of Ecology, University of Oulu and Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE), Finland.

2008-2010     Part-time Researcher, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Oulu, Finland

2005-2007     Researcher, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Oulu, Finland.

2005    MSc, Animal ecology, Dept. of Biology, University of Oulu, Finland.


Since 2022 I have been  the coordinator of PhD-students (studierektor) at the department of Wildlife, Fish, and Enviromental studies (ca 16 PhD-students)

Main supervisor for PhD-students:

2023-2027 Ida Rönnqvist (Can continuous cover forestry reduce the risk of damage by forest pests and browsing ungulates?) Forest damage Center+SLU

2019-2025 Paulina Bergmark (The importance of green infrastructure for biodiversity of deadwood-dependent insects and fungi.) Oskar & Lili Lamms Minne + SLU.

Assistant supervisor for PhD-students

2019-2024 Olov Tranberg (Translocation of deadwood and associated species as means to improve ecological compensation) 

2020-2024 Lukas Holmström (Thinning forests contribution to biodiversity)

2022-2026 Joseph Anderson (Effects of ungulate browsing and grazing on forest biodiversity- evaluating the intermediate disturbance hypothesis in boreal forest ecosystems)

2022-2026 Jaime Luna (The biodiversity implications of short-rotation broadleaved trees), SLU Alnarp.

2023-2027 Lydwin Wagenaar (Rewilding and restoration in landscapes.)  University of Lund.


2024-2026         Post-doc Emelie Fredriksson 2 yrs. Main host. Fire in Ecopark Ejheden (Sveaskog). 

2023-2025         Post-doc Nolan Rappa 2 yrs. Main host. Pollinators in boreal forests (Formas).

2023-2025         Post-doc Alwin Hardenbol 2 yrs. Co-host. Evaluation of the effectiveness of retention forestry for conservation of biodiversity. (Stora Enso)

2022-2024         Post-doc Faith Jones 2 yrs. Co-host. Development of Key Performance Indicators for biodiversity in production forest landscapes. (Stora Enso)

2019-2021         Post-doc Antonio Rodrigues 2 yrs. Co-host. Burn for biodiversity. (Tryggers Foundation)

I  also yearly supervise 1-2 MSc theses and 1-2 BSc theses (SLU, Uppsala University, Umeå University, University of Helsinki)

Selected publications

Anne-Maarit Hekkala

Selected publications from last 5 years:

Tranberg, O., Hekkala, A-M., Lindroos, O. et al. 2023. Translocation of deadwood in ecological compensation: A novel way to compensate for habitat loss. Ambio.
Hekkala, A-M., Jönsson, M., Kärvemo, S., Strengbom, J. & Sjögren, J. 2023: Habitat heterogeneity is a good predictor of boreal forest biodiversity. Ecological indicators. 10.1016/j.ecolind.2023.110069
Rodríguez, A., Hekkala, A-M,  Sjögren, J. Strengbom, J. &  Löfroth, T.2021: Boreal forest fertilization leads to functional homogenization of ground beetle assemblages. Journal of applied ecology 58(6), 1145-1154.
Ekström Larsson, A, Bergmark, P. & Hekkala, A-M. 2021: Can multifunctional forest landscapes sustain high diversity of saproxylic beetles? Forest Ecology and Management 490 119107
Kärvemo, S., Jönsson, M. Hekkala, A-M., Sjögren, J. & Strengbom, J. 2021: Multi-taxon conservation in northern forest hot-spots: the role of forest characteristics and spatial scales. Landscape Ecology (LAND-D-20-00477R1).
Hekkala, A.-M. Kärvemo, S. et al. 2021: Ecological restoration for biodiversity conservation triggers response of bark beetle pests and their natural predators. Forestry doi: 10.1093/forestry/cpaa016 
Versluijs, M., Hekkala, A-M et al.2020. Comparing the effects of even-aged thinning and selective felling on boreal forest birds. For. Ecol. Man
Hekkala, A.-M. & Roberge, J.-M. 2018. The use of response measures in meta-analyses of land-use impacts on ecological communities: a review and the way forward. Biodiversity and Conservation 27: 2989-3005. 


Research Gate