8.02.01 - Key factors and ecological functions for forest biodiversity
The Working Party research activities focus on 2 main thematic areas:
- forest biodiversity monitoring at different spatial scales; priorities are testing of operational but statistically robust methodologies to collect data; crucial for progress in this area is to promote understanding of the growing opportunities offered by 3D remote sensing technology (airborne laser scanning, unmanned aerial systems, hyperspectral technologies), coupled with in-situ (ground) data (ground forest inventories, terrestrial laser scanning, DNA barcoding) for tracking changes in structural and compositional biodiversity variables.
- forest biodiversity indicators; they are used to qualify e.g. the sustainability of forest management relative to the biodiversity criterion. The aim is to promote the test of these indicators that would allow a better awareness of their identity card (the part of biodiversity they indicate, under which conditions, and with which "quality" or magnitude).
Forest biological diversity results from evolutionary processes driven by ecological forces such as climate, fire, competition and other disturbances.
Within specific forest ecosystems, the maintenance of ecological processes and associated ecosystem services (e.g. timber and non wood resources, soil and water protection, climate regulation, amenities) is dependent upon the maintenance of their biological diversity – and vice versa. Maintenance of the disturbances – natural or similar processes created by e.g. silvicultural measures – is a prerequisite to maintain the biological diversity within individual forest ecosystems. A key issue is to find principles for a forest biodiversity strategy based upon an optimal mixture of protected areas (with natural disturbance regimes) and production forests managed with considerations to biodiversity.