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Evaluating the effectiveness of retention forestry to enhance biodiversity in production forests of Central Europe using an interdisciplinary, multi-scale approach.


ABSTRACT: Retention forestry, which retains a portion of the original stand at the time of harvesting to maintain continuity of structural and compositional diversity, has been originally developed to mitigate the impacts of clear-cutting. Retention of habitat trees and deadwood has since become common practice also in continuous-cover forests of Central Europe. While the use of retention in these forests is plausible, the evidence base for its application is lacking, trade-offs have not been quantified, it is not clear what support it receives from forest owners and other stakeholders and how it is best integrated into forest management practices. The Research Training Group ConFoBi (Conservation of Forest Biodiversity in Multiple-use Landscapes of Central Europe) focusses on the effectiveness of retention forestry, combining ecological studies on forest biodiversity with social and economic studies of biodiversity conservation across multiple spatial scales. The aim of ConFoBi is to assess whether and how structural retention measures are appropriate for the conservation of forest biodiversity in uneven-aged and selectively harvested continuous-cover forests of temperate Europe. The study design is based on a pool of 135 plots (1 ha) distributed along gradients of forest connectivity and structure. The main objectives are (a) to investigate the effects of structural elements and landscape context on multiple taxa, including different trophic and functional groups, to evaluate the effectiveness of retention practices for biodiversity conservation; (b) to analyze how forest biodiversity conservation is perceived and practiced, and what costs and benefits it creates; and (c) to identify how biodiversity conservation can be effectively integrated in multi-functional forest management. ConFoBi will quantify retention levels required across the landscape, as well as the socio-economic prerequisites for their implementation by forest owners and managers. ConFoBi's research results will provide an evidence base for integrating biodiversity conservation into forest management in temperate forests.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7029101 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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