Much of the old-growth forests that once dominated the Swedish landscape, are today lost due to intensive silvicultural practices. The remaining natural forests, with high conservation values are scattered over the landscape in fragmented entities surrounded by homogenous production forest stands, which lack the characteristics of old-growth forests.
A group of organisms that is directly affected by the loss of old-growth forests are deadwood-dependent insects and fungi. To reduce the negative impacts on saproxylic species, the retention of high stumps have become a common practice on clear cuts. Also different measures of restorations are today practiced to increase the amount and quality of deadwood.
Recent studies within forest ecology have highlighted the need of implementing a landscape perspective when practicing different restoration methods. The question is not only how to restore, but also where such practices should take place in order to gain the most positive effects on biodiversity of saproxylic species.
By analyzing the landscapes and collecting data on saproxylic insects and fungi in so called Ecoparks, my project aims to answer these questions. The Ecoparks are large areas ranging from 5000 to 22 0000 ha and were established by the state owned forestry company Sveaskog in order to combine timber production and biodiversity conservation at a landscape level. Much of Sveaskogs’ restoration actions are conducted in the Ecoparks, which gives a great opportunity to study the effects of both restoration and silvicultural practices on saproxylic species at a landscape level.
The aims of my thesis is to examine the importance of green infrastructure for deadwood-dependent insects and fungi and to evaluate the concept of Ecoparks as a tool to enhance biodiversity conservation now and in the future.
Master's degree in Biology, Umeå University
Joakim Hjältén, Professor, Departement of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental studies
Anne-Maarit Hekkala, Researcher, Departement of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental studies
Johan Svensson, Researcher, Departement of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental studies
P. Bergmark & D. Jørgensen. (2014) Lophelia pertusa conservation in the North
Sea using obsolete offshore structures as artificial reefs. Marine Ecology Progress
Series Vol. 516: 275–280, 2014.