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Challenges of ecological restoration: Lessons from forests in northern Europe
Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä, Finland.
School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom .
Faculty of Biology, University of Latvia, Riga, Latvia .
School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom .
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2013 (English)In: Biological Conservation, ISSN 0006-3207, E-ISSN 1873-2917, Vol. 167, 248-256 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The alarming rate of ecosystem degradation has raised the need for ecological restoration throughout different biomes and continents. North European forests may appear as one of the least vulnerable ecosystems from a global perspective, since forest cover is not rapidly decreasing and many ecosystem services remain at high level. However, extensive areas of northern forests are heavily exploited and have lost a major part of their biodiversity value. There is a strong requirement to restore these areas towards a more natural condition in order to meet the targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Several northern countries are now taking up this challenge by restoring forest biodiversity with increasing intensity. The ecology and biodiversity of boreal forests are relatively well understood making them a good model for restoration activities in many other forest ecosystems. Here we introduce northern forests as an ecosystem, discuss the historical and recent human impact and provide a brief status report on the ecological restoration projects and research already conducted there. Based on this discussion, we argue that before any restoration actions commence, the ecology of the target ecosystem should be established with the need for restoration carefully assessed and the outcome properly monitored. Finally, we identify the most important challenges that need to be solved in order to carry out efficient restoration with powerful and long-term positive impacts on biodiversity: coping with unpredictability, maintaining connectivity in time and space, assessment of functionality, management of conflicting interests and social restrictions and ensuring adequate funding. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 167, 248-256 p.
Keyword [en]
Boreal forest, Climate change, Dead wood, Disturbance dynamics, Ecosystem services, Fire regime, Forest management, Habitat loss, Monitoring, Reference ecosystems
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-20679DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2013.08.029ISI: 000328804300028Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84884301264OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-20679DiVA: diva2:678939
Note

CODEN: BICOB

Available from: 2013-12-13 Created: 2013-12-13 Last updated: 2015-07-01Bibliographically approved

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Eriksson, Anna-MariaJonsson, Bengt Gunnar
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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