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Joakim Hjältén

Joakim Hjältén
Professor emeritus in Animal Ecology. Founder of the Restoration Ecology research group at SLU. 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, biodiversity offsets, plant-herbivore interaction, chemical ecology, community and population ecology. More specifically, I focus on evaluating and developing cost-efficient 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). 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 questions related to the balance of multiple goals (e.g., of forest production and species conservation) in forest management.   


Current research project involvement

2022. Pros and cons with continuous cover forestry for biodiversity and ecosystem services. Formas 4 year grant, total 10 million SEK, Co-applicant, main applicant Jörgen Sjögren

2022. Can translocation of deadwood help preserve wood-living metacommunities and ecosystem functions? Formas 3 year grant, total 3 million SEK, Co-applicant, main applicant Mari Jönsson

2021. Systemic solutions for upscaling of urgent ecosystem restoration for forest-related biodiversity and ecosystem services (SUPERB). Horizon grant, Main applicant EFI. Total budget 20 MEuro of which 590000Euro to SLU/VFM. Role: collaborating partner providing expertise on ecological restoration. 

2021. Tree cavities as indicators of nature conservation values in forest management. Skogssällskapet 3 year grant total budget 1 826 KSEK Co-applicant, main applicant Jari Kouki Univ. of Eastern Finland.

2021. Impacts of mining dust deposition on forest biodiversity and ecosystem services (MINEDUST). Vinnova (SIP STRIM) 3 year grant total budget 5 million SEK (Vinnova 3.2 million and Boliden 1.8 Million).  Co-applicant, main applicant Jörgen Sjögren.

2020. Effects of forest landscape management on the conservation and biodiversity of wood-decaying fungi. Lammska Stiftelse 467kSEK (co-applicant main applicant Anne-Maarit Hekkala).

2020. Ecoparks: the importance of green infrastructure in the landscape. Research collaboration with Sveaskog. Joint project management with Anne-Maarit Hekkala and Johan Svensson (2021-2025, total budget 5 million SEK).

2020. Biodiversity: Research collaboration with Stora Enso including two VFM subprojects “Uneven-aged forestry – effects on biodiversity and forest production” and “Restoration of set-asides and the consequences for target and non-target species”. Role: Faciliator of collaboration and co-supervisor of PhD student and postdoc, PI Jörgen Sjögren (5 year grant total budget 6000KSEK (Stora Enso 4000kSEK and SLU 2000kSEK). 

2019. Translocation of dead wood and associated species: a cost-efficient method to modernize ecological compensation and restoration? Formas 3 year grant 2 995 512SEK

2019. The impacts of forest restoration on ecological networks of wood-decaying organisms and wild pollinators. Formas 3 year grant 3 000 000SEK (co-applicant main applicant Anne-Maarit Hekkala).

2019. New silvilcultural treatments to reach forest sustainable management- biodiversity and regeneration. MFFP of Quebec, Canada. 4 year grant, 127.000CAD grant #142332177-H. (International collaborator, main applicant Miguel Montoro Girona UQAT). 

2019. Är translokering av död ved ett bra sätt att öka effektiviteten vid ekologisk kompensation av gruvbrytning? Göran Gustafssons Stiftelse (70 000SEK).

2019. Decadal effects of cost-neutral ecological restoration on biodiversity: a large-scale long-term experiment revisited. Stiftelsen Skogssällskapet (3 year grant, 1638 019SEK)

2018. The importance of green infrastructure for biodiversity of deadwood-dependent insects and fungi. Lammska stiftelsen (4 year PhD grant 2 200 000SEK)

2018. Translocation of dead wood substrates and associated species to modernize restoration and biodiversity offsets. Boliden and SLU, 8 year grant, for a PhD-student, total 3200 000SEK (50% from Boliden). 


Supervision PhD students

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Examination year

Albin Larsson Ekström Deputy supervisor                                2024
Lukas Holmström, Deputy supervisor                                       2024
Paulina Bergmark. Deputy supervisor                                        2022
Olle Tranberg. Deputy supervisor                                               2022
Martijn Versluijs1. Main supervisor                                            2019
Klara Joelsson. Main supervisor.                                                 2017
Rory Hägglund. Main supervisor.                                               2016
Andreas Tiselius. Deputy supervisor.                                         2016
Eliza Hasselquist. Deputy supervisor.                                        2015
David Bell. (Licentiate) Main supervisor.                                  2015
David Tingström. (Licentiate). Main supervisor.                      2012
Jon Andersson. Main supervisor.                                                2012
Petter Axelsson. Main supervisor.                                              2011
Fredrik Stenbacka. Main supervisor.                                          2009
Patrik Blomberg. Deputy supervisor.                                         2007
Therese Johansson. Main supervisor.                                        2006
Gert Olsson1.  Main supervisor.                                                  2003
Mats Nilson (Licentiate). Main supervisor.                               2002
Per Hallgren. Main supervisor.                                                   2002
Benedicte Albrectsen1. Main supervisor.                                   2000 

1 (initially assistant supervisor)


Mentorship post-doctoral fellows

Adam Ekholm                                                                               2020-2022
Miguel Montoro Girona                                                               2017-2019
Andreas Karlsson Tiselius                                                           2017-2019
Anne-Maarit Hekkala                                                                  2016-2017
Simon Kärvemo                                                                            2015-2016
Anouchka Hof 24 months                                                           2011-2015
Torbjörn Josefsson 24 months                                                   2011-2013
Jörgen Olsson, 24 months                                                           2010-2012
Mats Dynesius, 24 months                                                         2006-2008
Jacek Hilszanzki, 12 months                                                       2004
Heloise Gibb, 24 months                                                            2003-2004


Selected publications

SCIENTIFIC PUBLICATIONS in refereed journals. Total number of citation 22 July 2023: 5091, h-index 43, I10 index 104 according to Google scholar:

119. Kriegel P, Vogel S, Angeleri R, Baldrian P, Borken W, Bussler H, Bouget C, Brin A, Cocciufa, C, Feldmann B, Gossner M, Haeler E, Hagge J, Hardersen S, Hartmann H, Hjältén J, Kotowska M, Lachat T, Larrieu L, Leverkus A, Macagno A, Mitesser O, Müller J, Obermaier E, Parisi F, Pelz S, Schuldt B, Seibold S, Stengel E, Sverdrup-Thygeson A, Weisser W, Thorn S. 2023. Ambient and substrate energy influence decomposer community diversity differentially across trophic levels. Ecology Letters. 2023;00:1–17. 

118. Adam Ekholm, Lars Lundqvist, Petter Axelsson, Gustaf Egnell, Joakim Hjältén, Tomas Lundmark, Jörgen Sjögren 2023. Stand growth and biodiversity in the selection system and the rotation forestry system: a review. Forest Ecology and Management 537:120920. 

117. Adam Ekholm, Petter Axelsson, Joakim Hjältén, Tomas Lundmark, Jörgen Sjögren 2022. Short-term effects of continuous cover forestry on forest biomass production and biodiversity - applying selection system in forests dominated by Picea abies. Ambio1-18.   

116. Sebastian Seibold, Werner Rammer, Torsten Hothorn, Rupert Seidl, Michael D. Ulyshen, Janina Lorz, Yagya P. Adhikari, Roxana Aragón, Soyeon Bae, Petr Baldrian, Hassan Barimani Varandi, Jos Barlow, Claus Bässler, Jacques Beauchêne, Erika Berenguer, Rodrigo S. Bergamin, Tone Birkemoe, Gergely Boros, Roland Brandl, Hervé Brustel, Philip J. Burton, Marc W. Cadotte, Yvonne T. Cakpo-Tossou, Jorge Castro, Eugénie Cateau, Tyler P. Cobb, Nina Farwig, Romina D. Fernández, Jennifer Firn, Kee Seng Gan, Grizelle González, Martin M. Gossner, Jan C. Habel, Christian Hébert, Christoph Heibl, Andreas Hemp, Claudia Hemp, Joakim Hjältén, Stefan Hotes, Jari Kouki, Thibault Lachat, David B. Lindenmayer, Jie Liu, Yu Liu, Ya-Huang Luo, Damasa M. Macandog, Pablo E. Martina, Sharif A. Mukul, Baatarbileg Nachin, Kurtis Nisbet, John O'Halloran, Anne Oxbrough, Jeev Nath Pandey, Tomáš Pavlíček, Stephen M. Pawson, Jacques S. Rakotondranary, Jean-Baptiste Ramanamanjato, Liana Rossi, Jürgen Schmidl, Mark Schulze, Stephen Seaton, Marisa J. Stone, Nigel E. Stork, Byambagerel Suran, Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson, Simon Thorn, Ganesh Thyagarajan, Timothy J. Wardlaw, Wolfgang W. Weisser, Sungsoo Yoon, Naili Zhang, Jörg Müller. 2020. Deadwood decomposition mediated by insects influences global carbon fluxes. Nature 597, 77–81 (2021).

 115. Lindroos, O., Söderlind, M., Jensen, J. and Hjältén, J. 2021 Cost analysis of a novel method for ecological compensation - a study of the relocation of dead wood (in press MDPI sustainability)

 114. Espinosa del Alba C, Hjältén J and Sjögren J. 2021. Differing field and ground layer response to ecological restoration by burning and gap cutting. Forest Ecology and Management 494: 119357. 

 113. Eliza Maher Hasselquist, Lenka Kuglerová, Ryan A. Sponseller, Jörgen Sjögren, Joakim Hjältén, Eva Ring, Elisabet Andersson, Johanna Lundström, Irina Mancheva, Annika Nordin, Hjalmar Laudon 2021. Moving towards multi-layered, mixed-species forests in riparian buffers will enhance their long-term function (in press Forest Ecology and Management).

 112. Dynesius M, Olsson J, Hjältén J, Löfroth T, Roberge J-M. 2021. Bryophyte species composition at the stand scale (1 ha) – Differences between secondary stands half a century after clear-cutting and older semi-natural boreal forests. Forest Ecology and Management 482: 

 111. Hekkala A-M, Kärvemo S, Versluijs M, Weslien J-O, Löfroth T, Björkman C, Hjältén J. 2021. Ecological restoration for biodiversity conservation triggers response of bark beetle pests and their natural predators. Forestry 1–12.

 110. Versluijs M, Hekkala A-M, Lindberg E, Lämås T, and Hjältén J, 2020. Comparing the effects of even-aged thinning and selective felling on boreal forest birds. Forest Ecology and Management 475,   

 109. Versluijs, M., Eggers, S., Mikusinski, G., Roberge, J-M., Hjältén, J. 2020. Foraging ecology of Eurasian three-toed woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus) and its implications for ecological restoration and sustainable boreal forest management. Avian Conservation and Ecology 15 (1):6. 

 108. Hägglund R, Dynesius M, Löfroth T, Olsson J, Roberge J-M and Hjältén J. 2020. Restoration measures emulating natural disturbances alter saproxylic beetle assemblages. Forest Ecology and Management 462

 107. Adam Felton, Thomas Ranius, Therese Löfroth, Per Angelstam, Lena Gustafsson, Joakim Hjältén, Annika M. Felton, Per Simonsson, Anders Dahlberg, Matts Lindbladh, Johan Svensson, Urban Nilsson, Isak Lodin, PO Hedwall, Anna Sténs, Tomas Lämås, Jörg Brunet, Christer Kalén, Bengt Kriström, Pelle Gemmel. 2020. Keeping pace with forestry: Multi-scale conservation efforts in a changing matrix. Ambio 49: 1050–1064. 

 106. Versluijs, M., Roberge, J-M., Eggers, S., Boer, J., Hjältén, J. 2019. Ecological restoration for biodiversity conservation improves habitat quality for an insectivorous passerine in boreal forests. Biological Conservation, 237: 90-96

 105. Versluijs M, Hjältén J, Roberge J-M. 2019. The effect of forest restoration on biodiversity indicators in boreal forests. Ecological Indicators 98:104-111.

 104. Hof A, Löfroth T, Rudolphi J, Work T, Hjältén J. 2018. Simulating long-term effects off bioenergy extraction on dead wood availability at a landscape scale. Forest 9, 457; 

 103. Hägglund R and Hjältén J. 2018. Substrate specific restoration promotes saproxylic beetle diversity in boreal forest set-asides Forest Ecology and Management 425: 45-58.

 102. Joelsson K, Hjältén J, Gibb H. 2018. Forest management strategy history affects saproxylic beetle assemblages: a comparison of even and uneven-aged silviculture using direct and indirect sampling. Plos ONE. 13(4): e0194905. https://doi. org/10.1371/journal.pone.0194905 

 101. Hof A. and Hjältén J. 2018. Are we restoring enough? Simulating the impacts of climate change, management and restoration practices on a boreal forest ecosystem to assess the future habitat suitability for a locally threatened species. Restoration Ecology 26: 740–750.

 100. Joelsson K, Hjältén J, Work T, 2018, Uneven-aged forest management can enhance within stand heterogeneity - harvest trails harbor different beetle assemblages than retention strips. Journal of Environmental Management 205: 1-8.

 99. Hjältén J, Joelsson K, Gibb H, Work T, Johansson T, Roberge J-M. 2017. Biodiversity benefits for saproxylic beetles with uneven-aged silviculture. Forest Ecology and Management 402: 32-50.

 98. Versluijs M, Eggers S, Hjältén J, Löfroth T and Roberge J-M 2017. Ecological restoration in boreal forest modifies the structure of bird assemblages. Forest Ecology and Management 401-75-88

 97. Joelsson K, Hjältén J, Work T, Gibb H, Roberge J-M, Johansson T. 2017. Uneven-aged silviculture can reduce negative effects of forest management on beetles. Forest Ecology and Management 391: 436-445

 Hjältén J, Hägglund R, Johansson T, Roberge J-M, Dynesius M and Olsson J. 2017. Forest restoration by burning and gap cutting yield distinct immediate effects on saproxylic beetles. Biological Conservation 26:1623-1640. DOI 10.1007/s10531-017-1321-0

95. Kärvemo S, Björkman C, Johansson T, Weslien J, Hjältén J. 2017. Forest restoration as a double-edged sword: the conflict between biodiversity conservation and pest control. Journal of Applied Ecology 54: 1658-1668
 Johansson T, Gibb H, Dynesius M, Hjältén J. 2017. Soil humidity, potential solar radiation and altitude affect boreal beetle assemblages in dead wood. Biological Conservation 209C: 107-118

93. Andersson J, Dynesius M, Hjältén J. 2017. Short-term response to stump harvesting by the ground flora in boreal clear-cuts. Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research 32:3, 239-245, 

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, 

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.  

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.