Next Article in Journal
Forwarder Productivity in Salvage Logging Operations in Difficult Terrain
Previous Article in Journal
The Risk of Bark and Ambrosia Beetles Associated with Imported Non-Coniferous Wood and Potential Horizontal Phytosanitary Measures
Open AccessReview

Stand Structural Characteristics Are the Most Practical Biodiversity Indicators for Forest Management Planning in Europe

1
Forest Research Centre (CEF), School of Agriculture, University of Lisbon, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisbon, Portugal
2
Center for Applied Ecology ‘‘Prof. Baeta Neves’’ (CEABN-InBIO), School of Agriculture, University of Lisbon, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisbon, Portugal
3
Ecosystem Dynamics and Forest Management Group, School of Life Sciences, Technical University of Munich, Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Platz 2, 85354 Freising, Germany
4
Institute of Silviculture, Department of Forest and Soil Sciences, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) Vienna, Peter-Jordan-Straße 82, 1190 Vienna, Austria
5
Gund Institute for Environment, University of Vermont, 617 Main Street, Burlington, VT 05405, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(3), 343; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11030343
Received: 24 February 2020 / Revised: 15 March 2020 / Accepted: 17 March 2020 / Published: 19 March 2020
Including biodiversity assessments in forest management planning is becoming increasingly important due to the importance of biodiversity for forest ecosystem resilience provision and sustainable functioning. Here we investigated the potential to include biodiversity indicators into forest management planning in Europe. In particular, we aimed to (i) identify biodiversity indicators and data collection methods for biodiversity assessments at the stand and landscape levels, and (ii) evaluate the practicality of those indicators for forest management planning. We performed a literature review in which we screened 188 research studies published between 1990 and 2020. We selected 94 studies that fulfilled the inclusion criteria and examined in more detail. We considered three aspects of biodiversity: structure, composition, and function, and four forest management categories: unmanaged, managed, plantation, and silvopastoral. We used three criteria to evaluate the practicality of forest biodiversity indicators: cost-effectiveness, ease of application, and time-effectiveness. We identified differences in the practicality of biodiversity indicators for their incorporation into management plans. Stand-level indicators are more practical than landscape-level indicators. Moreover, structural biodiversity indicators (e.g., large trees, canopy openness, and old forest stands) are more useful in management plans than compositional indicators, as these are easily observable by non-professionals and can be obtained by forest inventories. Compositional indicators such are vascular plants, fungi, bryophyte, lichens, and invertebrate species are hard to identify by non-professionals and thus are impractical. Functional indicators (e.g., nutrient cycling) are not sufficiently addressed in the literature. Using recently updated existing databases (e.g., national forest inventories and bird atlases) is very time and cost-efficient. Remote sensing and other technology (e.g., smartphone applications) are promising for efficient data collection in the future. However, more research is needed to make these tools more accurate and applicable to a variety of ecological conditions and scales. Until then, forest stand structural variables derived from inventories can help improve management plans to prepare European forests towards an uncertain future. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest biodiversity indicators; forest composition; forest structure; forest ecosystem function; adaptive forest management; adaptive capacity; response diversity; practical indicators forest biodiversity indicators; forest composition; forest structure; forest ecosystem function; adaptive forest management; adaptive capacity; response diversity; practical indicators
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Ćosović, M.; Bugalho, M.N.; Thom, D.; Borges, J.G. Stand Structural Characteristics Are the Most Practical Biodiversity Indicators for Forest Management Planning in Europe. Forests 2020, 11, 343.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop