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What is the impact of active management on biodiversity in boreal and temperate forests set aside for conservation or restoration?: A systematic map
Mistra Council for Evidence-Based Environmental Management, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden .
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Natural Sciences.
Metsähallitus Parks and Wildlife Finland, C/o UEF, P.O. Box 111, Joensuu, Finland .
Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, Tartu University, Vanemuise 46, Tartu, Estonia .
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2015 (English)In: Environmental Evidence, ISSN 2047-2382, E-ISSN 2047-2382, Vol. 4, no 1, article id 25Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Resource type
Text
Abstract [en]

Background: The biodiversity of forests set aside from forestry is often considered best preserved by non-intervention. In many protected forests, however, remaining biodiversity values are legacies of past disturbances, e.g. recurring fires, grazing or small-scale felling. These forests may need active management to keep the characteristics that were the reason for setting them aside. Such management can be particularly relevant where lost ecological values need to be restored. In this review, we identified studies on a variety of interventions that could be useful for conserving or restoring any aspect of forest biodiversity in boreal and temperate regions. Since the review is based on Swedish initiatives, we have focused on forest types that are represented in Sweden, but such forests exist in many parts of the world. The wide scope of the review means that the set of studies is quite heterogeneous. As a first step towards a more complete synthesis, therefore, we have compiled a systematic map. Such a map gives an overview of the evidence base by providing a database with descriptions of relevant studies, but it does not synthesise reported results. Methods: Searches for literature were made using online publication databases, search engines, specialist websites and literature reviews. Search terms were developed in English, Finnish, French, German, Russian and Swedish. We searched not only for studies of interventions in actual forest set-asides, but also for appropriate evidence from commercially managed forests, since some practices applied there may be useful for conservation or restoration purposes too. Identified articles were screened for relevance using criteria set out in an a priori protocol. Descriptions of included studies are available in an Excel file, and also in an interactive GIS application that can be accessed at an external website. Results: Our searches identified nearly 17,000 articles. The 798 articles that remained after screening for relevance described 812 individual studies. Almost two-thirds of the included studies were conducted in North America, whereas most of the rest were performed in Europe. Of the European studies, 58 % were conducted in Finland or Sweden. The interventions most commonly studied were partial harvesting, prescribed burning, thinning, and grazing or exclusion from grazing. The outcomes most frequently reported were effects of interventions on trees, other vascular plants, dead wood, vertical stand structure and birds. Outcome metrics included e.g. abundance, richness of species (or genera), diversity indices, and community composition based on ordinations. Conclusions: This systematic map identifies a wealth of evidence on the impact of active management practices that could be utilised to conserve or restore biodiversity in forest set-asides. As such it should be of value to e.g. conservation managers, researchers and policymakers. Moreover, since the map also highlights important knowledge gaps, it could inspire new primary research on topics that have so far not been well covered. Finally, it provides a foundation for systematic reviews on specific subtopics. Based on our map of the evidence, we identified four subtopics that are sufficiently covered by existing studies to allow full systematic reviewing, potentially including meta-analysis. © 2015 Bernes et al.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 4, no 1, article id 25
Keywords [en]
Biodiversity, Boreal forest, Browsing, Dead wood, Disturbance legacy, Forest conservation, Forest reserve, Forest restoration, Forest set-aside, Grazing, Habitat management, Partial harvesting, Prescribed burning, Temperate forest, Thinning
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-26907DOI: 10.1186/s13750-015-0050-7Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84952330057OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-26907DiVA, id: diva2:897339
Note

Article

Available from: 2016-01-25 Created: 2016-01-25 Last updated: 2018-10-26Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Old-Growth Forests in the High Coast Region in Sweden and Active Management in Forest Set-Asides
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Old-Growth Forests in the High Coast Region in Sweden and Active Management in Forest Set-Asides
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In today´s intensively managed landscape, very few forests with old-growth characteristics and little human impact exist. One of the rare exceptions is pine forests on rocky soils, a forest type which has probably escaped extensive human use because of its low productivity. Our objective was to investigate the structure, dynamics, and history as well as the abundance and richness of wood-inhabiting fungi in these types of forest. We chose rocky pine forests situated in the High Coast Region to exemplify this forest type since the regional County Administration had already made surveys of the conservation value in 26 rocky pine forest stands in this region. We investigated the forests by recording tree species and measuring tree size and age in eight of the stands that were ranked with the highest conservation value. We also sampled dead wood to examine time since death and we sampled living and dead trees with fire scars to date fires. In addition, we made an inventory of wood-inhabiting fruiting bodies and took woodchip samples from logs to learn (by DNA analysis) whether five rare wood inhabiting fungi species were present as mycelia in logs.

We found that rocky pine forests in the High Coast Region have a multi-sizedand multi-aged structure and old pine trees (approximately 13 ha-1 older than 300 years) are present. Fire has been common (an average of 42 years betweenfires) but they were likely to have been low-intense and small. Although the amount of dead wood is relatively low (4.4 m3 ha-1 on average) compared to many other boreal forests with old-growth characteristics, the share of deadwood of the total tree basal area (18%) was in line with other pine forests with low levels of human impact. The low dead wood volume is therefore likely to be an effect of the low productivity rather than dead wood extraction by humans. We also discovered that dead wood can be present for a really longtime without totally decomposing; we found logs and snags that had been dead for 500 years. This continuity of dead wood might be important for organisms dependent on dead wood as a substrate and even though we found that the species richness of wood-inhabiting fungi was somewhat low, we did find some rare species. Cinereomyces lenis and Hyphodontia halonata were present as fruiting bodies and we also found Antrodia albobrunnea, Antrodiainfirma, Crustoderma corneum and Anomoporia kamtschatica present as myceliain logs.

The second part of this thesis reports two systematic reviews studying the effects of active management on the biodiversity in boreal and temperate forests. A systematic review follows certain guidelines and aims to compile the evidence base in well-defined topics, so that managers, researchers and policymakers can gain access to a high-quality compilation of current research. In our systematic map, we found almost 800 relevant papers but the set of papers turned out to be too heterogenic (many intervention types, e.g. thinning, burning, grazing and many types of outcomes) to allow any quantitative analysis. However, this map identified knowledge gaps and several detailed research questions that had sufficient data to provide aquantitative statistical analysis.

One of these questions was: What is the impact of dead wood creation or addition on dead wood-dependent species? We focused on three types of interventions: creation of dead wood, addition of dead wood from elsewhere and prescribed burning. The selected outcomes were: saproxylic insects (rareand pest species), saproxylic fungi (rare species), ground-living insects and cavity-nesting birds. There was no significant negative effect on any of the investigated species groups but a positive effect on the abundance and richness of saproxylic insects and fungi. We also found that, although the amount of dead wood created was much less (50%) with prescribed burning, the abundance and richness of saproxylic insects showed similar positive effects to those of other intervention methods. A likely explanation for this is that burning results in a diversity of dead wood of various levels of quality (e.g. dense and/or charred wood), which creates a heterogeneity of dead woodtypes having a positive effect on the diversity of species dependent on deadwood. In summary, active management generally has a positive effect on biodiversity but the choice of management type should always be made carefully, and in consideration of the effect you want to achieve. In addition, there is a need for more long-term primary studies and more species groups in more geographical areas need to be incorporated so that the systematic reviews in this field will be even more informative in the future.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University, 2018. p. 52
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 287
Keywords
Coarse woody debris, Dead wood, Dendrochronology, Fire history, Forest conservation, Forest structure, Log, Meta-analysis, Pine heath forest, Prescribed burning, Saproxylic fungi, Saproxylic beetles, Snag, Wood-inhabiting fungi, Aktiv skötselmetod, Bevarandebiologi, Brandhistorik, Dendrokronologi, Död ved, Hällmarkstallskog, Lågproduktiv skog, Meta-analys, Naturvård, Naturvårdsbrand, Skogsstruktur, Solbelyst död ved, Stock, Torraka, Vedlevande svamp, Vedlevande insekter, Åldersstruktur
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-34830 (URN)978-91-88527-65-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-11-16, L111, Holmg. 10, Sundsvall, 10:15 (English)
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Supervisors
Note

Vid tidpunkten för disputationen var följande delarbeten opublicerade: delarbete 1 (manuskript), delarbete 2 (manuskript), delarbete 4 (inskickat).

At the time of the doctoral defence the following papers were unpublished: paper 1 (manuscript), paper 2 (manuscript), paper 4 (submitted).

Available from: 2018-10-26 Created: 2018-10-26 Last updated: 2018-10-26Bibliographically approved

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Jonsson, Bengt-GunnarSandström, Jennie

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