A functional forest ecosystem is more than just trees

Oct 23, 2013

In 2011, the University of Jyväskylä held an academic conference on the ecological restoration of forests. The conference was visited by 53 researchers from 10 European countries. Now the researchers' ideas and discussions have been published in the appreciated Biological Conservation publication series.

The researchers discussed the state of forests and how the situation of endangered species could be improved by restoring functions and structures that have disappeared from forests. This kind of activity is called . For example, the European Union has politically committed to restore 15 per cent of weakened habitats by 2020, if necessary.

In the publication, the researchers suggest that to successful, ecological restoration should be planned and implemented at the landscape level. A restoration process should also take into account the environmental changes, conflicting land use pressures and social problems in the future. For example, the prevention of climate change, the collection of wood for bioenergy and conflicting financial interests complicate the optimal use of ecological restoration.

The main message of the researchers is that a functioning forest ecosystem is much more than just trees. A natural forest ecosystem consists of a huge amount of different species and functions. "For example, species dependent on old trees, decayed wood or burned wood have disappeared in many areas," says researcher Panu Halme from the Department of Biological and Environmental Science at the University of Jyväskylä. Halme is the leading author of the article.

Explore further: Climate change creates complicated consequences for North America's forests

More information: Halme, P. et al. 2013: Challenges of ecological restoration: Lessons from forests in northern Europe, Biological Conservation, 167: 248-256.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Wolf Lake ancient forest is endangered ecosystem

Jun 26, 2013

(Phys.org) —New research from the University of Guelph, published Tuesday in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation, says that allowing industrial extraction in a northern Ontario old-growth red pine forest – the la ...

Heavily logged forests still valuable for tropical wildlife

Sep 17, 2013

According to principal investigators, Dr Matthew Struebig and Anthony Turner from the University of Kent's Durrell Institute of Conservation Ecology (DICE), these findings challenge a long-held belief that there is limited, ...

Recommended for you

Big data confirms climate extremes are here to stay

Jul 30, 2014

In a paper published online today in the journal Scientific Reports, published by Nature, Northeastern researchers Evan Kodra and Auroop Ganguly found that while global temperature is indeed increasing, so too is the variab ...

Peru's carbon quantified: Economic and conservation boon

Jul 30, 2014

Today scientists unveiled the first high-resolution map of the carbon stocks stored on land throughout the entire country of Perú. The new and improved methodology used to make the map marks a sea change ...

User comments : 0