In a comprehensive study, authors analysed how to effectively maintain and enhance forest biodiversity in Europe.

Biodiversity loss has been globally recognised as a major threat to ecological and socio-economic stability. The forest ecosystems of Europe, which include both natural and managed forests, provide habitats for numerous species and are havens for much of Europe’s biodiversity.

In a comprehensive European Forest Institute study, a multidisciplinary team of 13 authors from 10 countries have analysed how to effectively maintain and enhance forest biodiversity in Europe.

The study explores thoroughly how forest biodiversity is more than just a mixture of species. It concerns gene pools, structural and functional diversity as well as scale aspects that range from a single tree to entire regions. Forest managers and policymakers can both take action to maintain, but also enhance forest biodiversity in many forms.

Policymakers should note that a considerable time lag between biodiversity responses to new policies has to be taken into account, given the slow pace of forest development and related management interventions. Long-term commitment and societal support for biodiversity policy is therefore a must. The mix of tailor-made financial and other instruments needs to be expanded to successfully secure Europe’s biodiversity heritage. Market-driven instruments such as reverse auctions and biodiversity offsets are still underdeveloped.

Reference

Muys, B., Angelstam, P., Bauhus, J., Bouriaud, L., Jactel, H., Kraigher, H., Müller, J., Pettorelli, N., Pötzelsberger, E., Primmer, E., Svoboda, M., Thorsen, B.J., Van Meerbeek, K. 2022. Forest Biodiversity in Europe.  From Science to Policy 13. European Forest Institute. https://doi.org/10.36333/fs13