8.02.01 - Key factors and ecological functions for forest biodiversity



FINALLY CANCELLED: Conference: Mixed species forests: Risks, Resilience and Management


Lund, Sweden. Units involved: 1.01.06, 1.01.10, 1.09.00, 7.03.00, 8.02.01.

Mixed forests are strategic means of adapting forest management to climate change. Higher tree species diversity is expected to provide higher productivity, higher temporal stability, lower risk of biotic and abiotic disturbances and a more diverse portfolio of ecosystem services from forests. Although the knowledge base concerning the ecology of mixed forests has increased during the last decades, almost all forest research has been conducted in monocultures. As a result, there is a lack of knowledge about how to design and manage mixed forests, to sustain production and carbon sequestration, and mitigate abiotic and biotic risks. It is our expectation that this conference will be an arena for discussion and communication between researchers from different disciplines, and also between managers and policy makers. Our main objective is thus to communicate the state-of-the-art scientific knowledge in various fields connected to both mixed forest functioning and management.

Details: Conference homepage - 1st announcement - 2nd announcement   

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About Unit

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).

State of Knowledge

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.