Do small habitat patches within production forests provide value for biodiversity conservation in boreal forests?
Forest harvesting is the main factor of habitat degradation and biodiversity loss in forests of the boreal zone. To mitigate potential harmful effects, important small-scale habitats have been protected within production forests. These include woodland key habitats, buffer zones along water bodies as well as habitats protected by voluntary conservation action. In addition to their direct value as habitats for species, the small patches may contain more deadwood or green retention trees than the surrounding landscape. Both green retention trees and deadwood have been shown to be important for maintaining biodiversity in boreal forests. To synthesize the knowledge regarding the value of small habitat patches left within production landscapes for biodiversity conservation a systematic review was planned.
A stakeholder meeting was held 7.11.2018. There the research questions were defined and other aspects of the planned review discussed. The primary research question is ‘Do small habitat patches within production forests provide value for biodiversity conservation in boreal forests?’ It has been divided into three sub-questions:
- What is the impact of woodland key habitats on biodiversity?
- What is the impact of buffer zones along water bodies on biodiversity?
- What are the biodiversity impacts of conserving other small habitat patches?
The review team has written a draft review protocol. It can be found here (a pdf file). It was open for comments until 9.12.2018. At the moment, the review team is finalising the protocol. They will submit it to a peer-reviewed, open access journal Environmental Evidence.
Matti Häkkilä, Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Sini Savilaakso, Metsäteho Oy; Department of Forest Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland
Anna Johansson, Metsäteho Oy, Finland
Anne Uusitalo, Helsinki University Library, Finland
Terhi Sandgren, Helsinki University Library, Finland
Mikko Mönkkönen, Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Pasi Puttonen, Department of Forest Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland
The review is funded by the Finnish Forest Foundation.