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Johan Svensson

Johan Svensson
My research is oriented mainly towards sustainable forest governance and management, landscape ecology and restoration ecology, with project on various topics, such as high conservation values in forests, continuous cover forestry, landscape planning, sustainable land use and restoration. Ongoing and recently completed projects concern restoration of forests and forest landscapes, modelling and planning for high conservation value forests, sustainable planning of onshore wind power, continuity forests. The intact forest landscapes of the mountain foothills forests of the Scandinavian Mountain Range is one of the more central, recent themes. I have an international profile with faculty commissions in Nordic, European and Circumboreal networks. On national level I am a member of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency scientific board on biodiversity and ecosystem services, connected to, e.g., the Inter-governmental Panel for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.


I have a master degree in forest science and a PhD-degree in ecology, and have held a position as research scientist since 2014. Previous affiliations have been with the Swedish Forest Agency and with Environmental Monitoring at SLU.


I teach in a number of courses at higher level at SLU faculty of forest science, including on sustainable forestry, strategic and operational planning of forest protection and restoration, governance and management of intact mountain foothills forest, and generally on nature conservation and restoration ecology.


Ongoing and recently completed research projects:

Systemic solutions for upscaling of urgent ecosystem restoration for forest-related biodiversity and ecosystem services (SUPERB), European Forest Institute. European Union Horizon 2020.

Coping with the loss of the last: indicators for forest landscape biodiversity. Swedish EPA.

Land use synergy, integration or conflict in sustainable land-based windpower. Swedish Energy Agency and Swedish EPA Vindval program.

Managing the Green Infrastructure of the boreal forest landscape – landscape change trajectory and current possibilities based on high conservation value and continuity forests. Swedish EPA. 

Green planning: Vilhelmina as a testbed for innovative land-use planning in the mountain region, Swedish EPA.

National monitoring for assessing and valuating ecosystem services in Fennoscandian alpine and boreal landscapes, Swedish EPA.

Environmental analysis

I have a background as program manager for the national monitoring program on biodiversity and land-use changes – NILS; National Inventory of Landscapes in Sweden – by SLU on commission by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.


Nationally, I collaborate broadly within SLU and with other universities in Sweden as well as outside the academy with sector agencies, administrative bodies, environmental NGO:s and the forest sector in general. I also collaborate with initiatives such as the UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in Sweden and internationally. Internationally, my strongest collaboration has been with Canada through the International Model Forest Program, but also since many years with a range of universities and other organizations in Europe.


Four PhD-student and some 20 masters and bachelor thesis students, in various research topics and fields.

Selected publications

Peer reviewed articles, book chapters and books, selected since 2016:

Svensson, J., et al. 2023. Wind power distribution across subalpine, boreal, and temperate landscapes. Ecology and Society 28(4):18. DOI: 10.5751/ES-14452-280418.

Svensson, J., et al. 2023. Hållbar landbaserad vindkraft – synergi, integration och konflikt. Vindval, Naturvårdsverket. Rapport 7114, augusti 2023. In Swedish with English summary.

Girona, M.M, J. Svensson, et al. 2023. The challenges of boreal forests sustainable management in the face of climate change. In: Sustainable forest management of the boreal forest in the face of climate change. Ed: Girona, M.M, H. Morin, S. Gaulthier & Y. Bergeron. Springer Nature, Switzerland.

Svensson, J., et al. 2023. Boreal forest landscape restoration in the face of extensive forest fragmentation and loss. In: Sustainable forest management of the boreal forest in the face of climate change. Ed: Girona, M.M, H. Morin, S. Gaulthier & Y. Bergeron. Springer Nature, Switzerland.

Thellbro, C, J. Svensson, et al. 2022. Readiness and planning for more wind power: Municipalities as key actors implementing national strategies. Cleaner Energy Systems. DOI: 10.1016/j.cles.2022.100040.

Svensson, J., et al. 2022. Spared, shared and lost – Routes for maintaining the Scandinavian Mountain foothill intact forest landscape. Regional Environmental Change. DOI: 10.1007/s10113-022-01881-8.

Bjärstig, T., J. Svensson, et al. 2022. Large-scale wind power: Cause, solution or victim. A frame analysis of Swedish media reporting from a few hundered turbines in 1999 to thousands in 2019. Energy Research & Social Science. DOI: 10.1016/j.erss.2021.102337. 

Zachrisson, J. Svensson, et al. 2021. Participatory planning to handle competing landscape priorities: Comprehensive planning in the remote rural context. Journal of Rural Studies 88. DOI: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2021.09.031.

Högbom, L., J. Svensson, et al. 2021. Trilemma of Nordic-Baltic forestry – How to implement UN Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainability 13, 5643. DOI: 10.3390/su13105643.

Mikusiński, G., J. Svensson, et al. 2021. Strengthening the network of high conservation value forests in boreal landscapes. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 8. DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2020.595730.

Svensson, J., et al. 2021. Det fjällnära skogslandskapets stora och många värden. In: H. Tunón & K. Sandell. Biologisk mångfald, naturnyttor, ekosystemtjänster. Svenska perspektiv på livsviktiga framtidsfrågor. CBMs skriftserie 121. SLU Centrum för Biologisk Mångfald, Uppsala & Naturvårdsverket, Stockholm. In Swedish.

Svensson, J., et al. 2020. Conservation significance of intact forest landscapes in the Scandinavian Mountains Green Belt. Landscape Ecology. DOI: 10.1007/s10980-020-01088-4.

Sabatini, F.M., J. Svensson, et al. 2020. Protection gaps and restoration opportunities for primary forests in Europe. Diversity and Distributions. DOI: 10.1111/ddi.13158.

Svensson, J., et al. 2020. Landscape approaches to sustainability – aspects of conflict, integration and synergy in national public land-use interests. Sustainability 12. DOI: 10.3390/su12125113.

Angelstam, P., J. Svensson, et al. 2020. Sweden does not meet agreed national and international forest biodiversity targets: A call for adaptive landscape planning. Landscape and Urban Planning 202. DOI: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2020.103838.

Orlikowska, E., J. Svensson, et al. 2020. Hit or miss? Evaluating the effectiveness of Natura 2000 for conservation of forest bird habitat in Sweden. Global Ecology and Conservation 22. DOI: 10.1016/j.gecco.2020.e00939.

Jonsson, B-G., J. Svensson, et al. 2019. European Union’s Last Intact Forest Landscapes are at A Value Chain Crossroad between Multiple Use and Intensified Wood Production. Forests. DOI:  10.3390/f10070564

Felton, A., J. Svensson, et al. 2019. Keeping pace with forestry: Multi-scale conservation in a changing production forest matrix. Ambio. DOI: 10.1007/s13280-019-01248-0

Svensson, J., et al. 2019. Landscape trajectory of natural boreal forest loss as an impediment to green infrastructure. Conservation Biology DOI: 10.1111/cobi.13148

Carlsson, J., J. Svensson, et al. 2017. Opportunities for integrated landscape planning – the broker, the arena, the tool. Landscape Online 55. 20 pp

Blicharska, M., J. Svensson, et al. 2017. Shades of grey challenge practical application of the cultural ecosystem services concept. Ecosystem Services 23: 55-70

Hedenås, H., J. Svensson & P. Christensen. 2016. Changes in vegetation cover and composition in the Swedish mountain region. Ecological Monitoring and Assessment 188:452. 15 pp

Esseen, P.-A., A. Hedström Ringvall, K.A. Harper, P. Christensen, J. Svensson. 2016. Factors driving structure of natural and anthropogenic forest edges from temperate to boreal regions. Journal of Vegetation Science 27(3):174-182

Sandström, P., N. Cory, J. Svensson, H. Hedenås, L. Jougda & N. Borchert. 2016. On the decline of ground lichen forests in the Swedish boreal landscape – implications for reindeer husbandry and sustainable forest management. Ambio 45(4):415-429

Populärvetenskapliga artiklar och rapporter sedan 2016 i urval:

Högbom, L., J. Svensson, et al. 2023. Forest multi functionality. ProFor Policy Brief. ISBN 978-952-380-775-4

Bou Dagher Kharrat, M., J. Svensson, et al. 2023. SUPERB’s Policy recommendations for the EU Nature restoration Law. Towards biodiverse and adaptive forest landscapes for Europe’s people. SUPERB Upscaling Forest Restoration Policy brief, May 2023.

Svensson, J. 2022. Det är de enskilda ägarna som kan göra skillnad. Skogens värden – forskares reflektioner. Mittuniversitetet. ISBN: 978-91-89341-70-8. Pp. 92-93. [In Swedish]

Högbom, L., J. Svensson, et al. 2022. Future trends in forest management. PROFOR.

Sandell, K., J. Svensson et al. 2021. Ingår människan i det sjätte massutdöendet? Sydsvenska Dagbladet, debattartikel. ISSN 1652-814X. [In Swedish]

Mikusiński, G., J. Svensson, et al. 2020. Vad blir effekten av 3 miljarder nya träd? Biodiverse 25 (2): 24-25. Centrum för Biologisk Mångfald, SLU. [In Swedish]

Svensson, J., et al. 2019. Det boreala skogslandskapets gröna infrastruktur. Naturvårdsverket rapport 6910. 76 pp. [In Swedish]

Bjärstig, J. Svensson, et al. 2018. Grön översiktsplanering i fjäll- och fjällnära landskap. Deltagande planering för en innovativ och hållbar översiktsplan för Vilhelmina kommun. Naturvårdsverket rapport 6811. 121 pp. [In Swedish]

Carlsson, J., G. Lidestav, T. Bjärstig, J. Svensson & E.-M. Nordström. 2016. Att planera för hela skogslandskapet – utmaningar och möjligheter. Fakta Skog nr. 13 [In Swedish]

Svensson, J. 2016. Model Forests bidrar till hållbarhet i landskapsperspektiv. Landskapsforum 2016. Samarbetsnätverk I landskapet – möjligheter och utmaningar. Kungl. Skogs- och Lantbruksakademiens tidskrift 155(3): 10-11 [In Swedish]

Blicharska, M. & J Svensson. 2016. Kulturella ekosystemtjänster. Vad är det egentligen och kan de användas i beslutsfattande? Biodiverse 21(3): 16-17. Centrum för Biologisk Mångfald, SLU [In Swedish]

Svensson, J., et al. 2016. NILS för miljömålet Levande skogar. Institutionen för skoglig resurshushållning, Arbetsrapport 450. 57 p [In Swedish]