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Focus : Evaluating and modelling the quality of forest habitats in Finland Evaluating and modelling the quality of forest habitats in Finland

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Author(s): Sandra Luque

Journal: Sciences Eaux & Territoires : la Revue du IRSTEA
ISSN 2109-3016

Volume: 2011;
Issue: 03bis;
Start page: 46;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: BIODIVERSITY | FOREST MANAGEMENT | LANDSCAPE | MODELLING

ABSTRACT
Similar to many other European countries, Finnish landscapes underwent profound change during the 1900s due to modifications in forest management. The changes in landscapes produced the current situation in which a significant number of forest animal species are threatened.Despite the increasing importance of forest management, most of the studies on forest ecosystem functioning to date target natural forest systems excluding managed forest areas. We need tools to assess forest systems as a whole to be able to protect biodiversity while still responding to the increasing needs for forestry activities. Sustainable forest-management goals include the conservation of biological diversity and its constituent elements. Dying and dead trees, in particular, have been recognised as being of prime importance as a resource and habitat for numerous animal and plant species. In this sense, the main goal of this study is to produce a generalist regional model for forest-habitat quality and thematic maps to assist in identifying a relevant set of additional protected zones. Calling on progress in methods to inventory and monitor forest environments and habitats with high biodiversity levels, this study developed a useful tool for planning and setting up a network of conservation zones in Finland. This work is one of the first projects undertaken on the landscape scale, focussing on end users’ needs, based on a national forest inventory database for biodiversity monitoring and management.
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