Browsing by Subject "Biodiversity"

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  • Rogers, Paul C.; Pinno, Bradley D.; Šebesta, Jan; Albrectsen, Benedicte R.; Li, Guoqing; Ivanova, Natalya; Kusbach, Antonín; Kuuluvainen, Timo; Landhäusser, Simon M.; Liu, Hongyan; Myking, Tor; Pulkkinen, Pertti; Wen, Zhongming; Kulakowski, Dominik (2020)
    Across the northern hemisphere, six species of aspen (Populus spp.) play a disproportionately important role in promoting biodiversity, sequestering carbon, limiting forest disturbances, and providing other ecosystem services. These species are illustrative of efforts to move beyond single-species conservation because they facilitate hundreds of plants and animals worldwide. This review is intended to place aspen in a global conservation context by focusing on the many scientific advances taking place in such biologically diverse systems. In this manner, aspen may serve as a model for other widespread keystone systems where science-based practice may have world implications for biodiversity conservation. In many regions, aspen can maintain canopy dominance for decades to centuries as the sole major broadleaf trees in forested landscapes otherwise dominated by conifers. Aspen ecosystems are valued for many reasons, but here we highlight their potential as key contributors to regional and global biodiversity. We present global trends in research priorities, strengths, and weaknesses based on, 1) a qualitative survey, 2) a systematic literature analysis, and 3) regional syntheses of leading research topics. These regional syntheses explore important aspen uses, threats, and research priorities with the ultimate intent of research sharing focused on sound conservation practice. In all regions, we found that aspen enhance biodiversity, facilitate rapid (re)colonization in natural and damaged settings (e.g., abandoned mines), and provide adaptability in changing environments. Common threats to aspen ecosystems in many, but not all, regions include effects of herbivory, land clearing, logging practices favoring conifer species, and projected climate warming. We also highlight regional research gaps that emerged from the three survey approaches above. We believe multi-scale research is needed that examines disturbance processes in the context of dynamic climates where ecological, physiological, and genetic variability will ultimately determine widespread aspen sustainability. Based on this global review of aspen research, we argue for the advancement of the “mega-conservation” strategy, centered on the idea of sustaining a set of common keystone communities (aspen) that support wide arrays of obligate species. This approach contrasts with conventional preservation which focuses limited resources on individual species residing in narrow niches.
  • Heinaro, Einari; Tanhuanpaa, Topi; Yrttimaa, Tuomas; Holopainen, Markus; Vastaranta, Mikko (2021)
    Fallen trees decompose on the forest floor and create habitats for many species. Thus, mapping fallen trees allows identifying the most valuable areas regarding biodiversity, especially in boreal forests, enabling well-focused conservation and restoration actions. Airborne laser scanning (ALS) is capable of characterizing forests and the underlying topography. However, its potential for detecting and characterizing fallen trees under varying boreal forest conditions is not yet well understood. ALS-based fallen tree detection methods could improve our understanding regarding the spatiotemporal characteristics of dead wood over large landscapes. We developed and tested an automatic method for mapping individual fallen trees from an ALS point cloud with a point density of 15 points/m2. The presented method detects fallen trees using iterative Hough line detection and delineates the trees around the detected lines using region growing. Furthermore, we conducted a detailed evaluation of how the performance of ALS-based fallen tree detection is impacted by characteristics of fallen trees and the structure of vegetation around them. The results of this study showed that large fallen trees can be detected with a high accuracy in old-growth forests. In contrast, the detection of fallen trees in young managed stands proved challenging. The presented method was able to detect 78% of the largest fallen trees (diameter at breast height, DBH > 300 mm), whereas 30% of all trees with a DBH over 100 mm were detected. The performance of the detection method was positively correlated with both the size of fallen trees and the size of living trees surrounding them. In contrast, the performance was negatively correlated with the amount of undergrowth, ground vegetation, and the state of decay of fallen trees. Especially undergrowth and ground vegetation impacted the performance negatively, as they covered some of the fallen trees and lead to false fallen tree detections. Based on the results of this study, ALS-based collection of fallen tree information should be focused on old-growth forests and mature managed forests, at least with the current operative point densities.
  • Hausmann, Anna; Toivonen, Tuuli; Fink, Christoph; Heikinheimo, Vuokko Vilhelmiina; Tenkanen, Henrikki; Butchart, Stuart; Brooks, Thomas; Di Minin, Enrico (2019)
    Understanding worldwide patterns of human use of sites of international significance for biodiversity conservation is crucial for meeting global conservation targets. However, robust global datasets are scarce. In this study, we used social media data, mined from Flickr and Twitter, geolocated in Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) to assess i) patterns of popularity; ii) relationships of this popularitywith geographical and biological variables; and iii) identify sites under high pressure fromvisitors. IBAs located in Europe and Asia, and in temperate biomes, had the highest density of users. Sites of importance for congregatory species, which were also more accessible, more densely populated and provided more tourism facilities, received higher visitation than did sites richer in bird species. Wefound 17% of all IBAs assessed to be under very high threat also received high visitation. Our results showinwhich IBAs enhancedmonitoring should be implemented to reduce potential visitation risks to sites of conservation concern for birds, and to harness the potential benefits of tourism for conservation. (C) 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
  • Nummi, Petri; Liao, Wenfei; van der Schoor, Juliette; Loehr, John (2021)
    Beavers (Castor spp.) are ecosystem engineers that induce local disturbance and ecological succession, which turns terrestrial into aquatic ecosystems and creates habitat heterogeneity in a landscape. Beavers have been proposed as a tool for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem restoration. So far, most research has compared biodiversity in beaver wetlands and non-beaver wetlands, but few studies have explored how beaver-created succession affects specific taxa. In this study, we investigated how water beetles responded to different successional stages of wetlands in a beaver-disturbed landscape at Evo in southern Finland. We sampled water beetles with 1-L activity traps in 20 ponds, including: 5 new beaver ponds, 5 old beaver ponds, 5 former beaver ponds, and 5 never engineered ponds. We found that beaver wetlands had higher species richness and abundance than non-beaver wetlands, and that new beaver wetlands could support higher species richness (321%) and abundance (671%) of water beetles compared to old beaver wetlands. We think that higher water beetle diversity in new beaver ponds has resulted from habitat amelioration (available lentic water, shallow shores, aquatic vegetation, and low fish abundance) and food source enhancement (an increase of both dead and live prey) created by beaver dams and floods. We conclude that using beavers as a tool, or imitating their way of flooding, can be beneficial in wetland restoration if beaver population densities are monitored to ensure the availability of newly colonizable sites.
  • Schafstall, Nick; Whitehouse, Nicki; Kuosmanen, Niina; Svobodova-Svitavska, Helena; Saulnier, Melanie; Chiverrell, Richard C.; Fleischer, Peter; Kunes, Petr; Clear, Jennifer L. (2020)
    Montane biomes are niche environments high in biodiversity with a variety of habitats. Often isolated, these non-continuous remnant ecosystems inhabit narrow ecological zones putting them under threat from changing climatic conditions and anthropogenic pressure. Twelve sediment cores were retrieved from a peat bog in Tatra National Park, Slovakia, and correlated to each other by wiggle-matching geochemical signals derived from micro-XRF scanning, to make a reconstruction of past conditions. A fossil beetle (Coleoptera) record, covering the last 1000 years at 50- to 100-year resolution, gives a new insight into changing flora and fauna in this region. Our findings reveal a diverse beetle community with varied ecological groups inhabiting a range of forest, meadow and synanthropic habitats. Changes in the beetle community were related to changes in the landscape, driven by anthropogenic activities. The first clear evidence for human activity in the area occurs c. 1250 CE and coincides with the arrival of beetle species living on the dung of domesticated animals (e.g. Aphodius spp.). From 1500 CE, human (re)settlement, and activities such as pasturing and charcoal burning, appear to have had a pronounced effect on the beetle community. Local beetle diversity declined steadily towards the present day, likely due to an infilling of the forest hollow leading to a decrease in moisture level. We conclude that beetle communities are directly affected by anthropogenic intensity and land-use change. When aiming to preserve or restore natural forest conditions, recording their past changes in diversity can help guide conservation and restoration. In doing so, it is important to look back beyond the time of significant human impact, and for this, information contained in paleoecological records is irreplaceable.
  • Luoto, Tomi P.; Ojala, Antti E.K. (2018)
    Arctic freshwater basins are diversity hotspots and sentinels of climate change, but their long-term variability and the environmental variables controlling them are not well defined. We examined four available lake sediment sequences from High Arctic Svalbard for their subfossil Chironomidae communities, biodiversity and functional traits and assessed the influence of climatic and limnological variability on the long-term ecological dynamics. Our results indicated that collector-filterers had an important role in the oligotrophic sites, whereas collector-gatherers dominated the nutrient-enriched sites with significant bird guano inputs. In the oligotrophic sites, benthic production, taxon richness and taxonomic and functional diversity were highest during the early Holocene, when temperatures showed a rapid increase. An increase in subfossil abundance and diversity metrics was also found in recent samples of the oligotrophic sites, but not in the bird-impacted sites, where the trends were decreasing. When partitioning out the environmental forcing on chironomid communities, the influence of climate was significant in all the sites, whereas in-lake production (organic matter) was significant in two of the sites and catchment erosion (magnetic susceptibility) had only minor influence. The findings suggest that major changes in Arctic chironomid assemblages were driven by climate warming with increasing diversity in oligotrophic sites, but deteriorating ecological functions in environmentally stressed sites. We found that although taxonomic and functional diversity were always coupled, taxonomical and functional turnovers were coupled only in the oligotrophic sites suggesting that the ecological functions operated by chironomids in these low-productivity sites may not be as resilient to future environmental change.
  • Yrttimaa, Tuomas; Saarinen, Ninni; Luoma, Ville; Tanhuanpaa, Topi; Kankare, Ville; Liang, Xinlian; Hyyppa, Juha; Holopainen, Markus; Vastaranta, Mikko (2019)
    Dead wood is a key forest structural component for maintaining biodiversity and storing carbon. Despite its important role in a forest ecosystem, quantifying dead wood alongside standing trees has often neglected when investigating the feasibility of terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) in forest inventories. The objective of this study was therefore to develop an automatic method for detecting and characterizing downed dead wood with a diameter exceeding 5 cm using multi-scan TLS data. The developed four-stage algorithm included (1) RANSAC-cylinder filtering, (2) point cloud rasterization, (3) raster image segmentation, and (4) dead wood trunk positioning. For each detected trunk, geometry-related quality attributes such as dimensions and volume were automatically determined from the point cloud. For method development and validation, reference data were collected from 20 sample plots representing diverse southern boreal forest conditions. Using the developed method, the downed dead wood trunks were detected with an overall completeness of 33% and correctness of 76%. Up to 92% of the downed dead wood volume were detected at plot level with mean value of 68%. We were able to improve the detection accuracy of individual trunks with visual interpretation of the point cloud, in which case the overall completeness was increased to 72% with mean proportion of detected dead wood volume of 83%. Downed dead wood volume was automatically estimated with an RMSE of 15.0 m(3)/ha (59.3%), which was reduced to 6.4 m(3)/ha (25.3%) as visual interpretation was utilized to aid the trunk detection. The reliability of TLS-based dead wood mapping was found to increase as the dimensions of dead wood trunks increased. Dense vegetation caused occlusion and reduced the trunk detection accuracy. Therefore, when collecting the data, attention must be paid to the point cloud quality. Nevertheless, the results of this study strengthen the feasibility of TLS-based approaches in mapping biodiversity indicators by demonstrating an improved performance in quantifying ecologically most valuable downed dead wood in diverse forest conditions.
  • Tóth, Zsolt; Szlavecz, Katalin; Epp Schmidt, Dietrich J.; Hornung, Erzsébet; Setälä, Heikki; Yesilonis, Ian D.; Kotze, D. Johan; Dombos, Miklós; Pouyat, Richard; Mishra, Saket; Cilliers, Sarel; Yarwood, Stephanie; Csuzdi, Csaba (2020)
    In urban landscapes, humans are the most significant factor determining belowground diversity, including earthworms. Within the framework of the Global Urban Soil Ecology and Education Network (GLUSEEN), a multi-city comparison was carried out to assess the effects of soil disturbance on earthworms. In each of five cities (Baltimore, USA; Budapest, Hungary; Helsinki and Lahti, Finland; Potchefstroom, South Africa), covering four climatic and biogeographical regions, four habitat types (ruderal, turf/lawn, remnant and reference) were sampled. The survey resulted in 19 species belonging to 9 genera and 4 families. The highest total species richness was recorded in Baltimore (16), while Budapest and the Finnish cities had relatively low (5–6) species numbers. Remnant forests and lawns supported the highest earthworm biomass. Soil properties (i.e. pH and organic matter content) explained neither earthworm community composition nor abundance. Evaluating all cities together, earthworm communities were significantly structured by habitat type. Communities in the two adjacent cities, Helsinki and Lahti were very similar, but Budapest clearly separated from the Finnish cities. Earthworm community structure in Baltimore overlapped with that of the other cities. Despite differences in climate, soils and biogeography among the cities, earthworm communities were highly similar within the urban habitat types. This indicates that human-mediated dispersal is an important factor shaping the urban fauna, both at local and regional scales.
  • La Notte, Alessandra; D'amato, Dalia; Mäkinen, Hanna; Paracchini, Maria Luisa; Liquete, Camino; Egoh, Benis; Geneletti, Davide; Crossman, Neville (2017)
    Ecosystem services research faces several challenges stemming from the plurality of interpretations of classifications and terminologies. In this paper we identify two main challenges with current ecosystem services classification systems: i) the inconsistency across concepts, terminology and definitions, and; ii) the mix up of processes and end-state benefits, or flows and assets. Although different ecosystem service definitions and interpretations can be valuable for enriching the research landscape, it is necessary to address the existing ambiguity to improve comparability among ecosystem-service-based approaches. Using the cascade framework as a reference, and Systems Ecology as a theoretical underpinning, we aim to address the ambiguity across typologies. The cascade framework links ecological processes with elements of human well-being following a pattern similar to a production chain. Systems Ecology is a long-established discipline which provides insight into complex relationships between people and the environment. We present a refreshed conceptualization of ecosystem services which can support ecosystem service assessment techniques and measurement. We combine the notions of biomass, information and interaction from system ecology, with the ecosystem services conceptualization to improve definitions and clarify terminology. We argue that ecosystem services should be defined as the interactions (i.e. processes) of the ecosystem that produce a change in human well-being, while ecosystem components or goods, i.e. countable as biomass units, are only proxies in the assessment of such changes. Furthermore, Systems Ecology can support a re-interpretation of the ecosystem services conceptualization and related applied research, where more emphasis is needed on the underpinning complexity of the ecological system.
  • Liao, Wenfei; Venn, Stephen; Niemelä, Jari (2020)
    Blue infrastructure is an important component of urban green infrastructure, due to its capacity for water cycle regulation and soil formation, as well as supporting unique biodiversity. Urban ponds, as part of urban blue, can harbour a diverse assemblage of aquatic macroinvertebrates. As yet, it is not clear how urbanisation affects macroinvertebrate diversity. In this study, we focus on diving beetles (Dytiscidae) in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, Finland, to investigate how urbanisation affects their diversity, as well as the effects of margin steepness and the presence or absence of fish on urban dytiscids. We sampled dytiscids using 1-L activity traps in 14 fishless ponds and 11 ponds with fish, at ten sites. We applied generalised linear mixed models (GLMM) and non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) to analyse the effects on dytiscid assemblages. We found that urbanisation had a negative effect on species richness but not on abundance. Steepness of pond margins and the presence or absence of predatory fish, affected both species richness and abundance: dytiscids prefer ponds with gently sloping margins; they have 80% higher species richness and are 79% more abundant in fishless ponds, and medium to large-sized dytiscid species are more capable of coexisting with fish. Urban wetlands can support a diversity of dytiscids at the regional level, and the presence of ponds without predatory fish is beneficial for maintaining dytiscid diversity. We recommend maintaining a diverse range of ponds and wetland habitats for the maintenance of aquatic biodiversity in urban regions.
  • Haahtela, Tari; von Hertzen, Leena; Anto, Josep M.; Bai, Chunxue; Baigenzhin, Abay; Bateman, Eric D.; Behera, Digambar; Bennoor, Kazi; Camargos, Paulo; Chavannes, Niels; de Sousa, Jaime Correia; Cruz, Alvaro; Teixeira, Maria Do Ceu; Erhola, Marina; Furman, Eeva; Gemicioglu, Bilun; Diaz, Sandra Gonzalez; Hellings, Peter W.; Jousilahti, Pekka; Khaltaev, Nikolai; Kolek, Vitezslav; Kuna, Piotr; La Grutta, Stefania; Le Thi Tuyet Lan,; Maglakelidze, Tamaz; Masjedi, Mohamed R.; Mihaltan, Florin; Mohammad, Yousser; Nunes, Elizabete; Nyberg, Arvid; Quel, Jorge; Rosado-Pinto, Jose; Sagara, Hironori; Samolinski, Boleslaw; Schraufnagel, Dean; Sooronbaev, Talant; Eldin, Mohamed Tag; To, Teresa; Valiulis, Arunas; Varghese, Cherian; Vasankari, Tuula; Viegi, Giovanni; Winders, Tonya; Yanez, Anahi; Yorgancioglu, Arzu; Yusuf, Osman; Bousquet, Jean; Billo, Nils E. (2019)
    Background: The Nature Step to Respiratory Health was the overarching theme of the 12th General Meeting of the Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases (GARD) in Helsinki, August 2018. New approaches are needed to improve respiratory health and reduce premature mortality of chronic diseases by 30% till 2030 (UN Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs). Planetary health is defined as the health of human civilization and the state of the natural systems on which it depends. Planetary health and human health are interconnected, and both need to be considered by individuals and governments while addressing several SDGs. Results: The concept of the Nature Step has evolved from innovative research indicating, how changed lifestyle in urban surroundings reduces contact with biodiverse environments, impoverishes microbiota, affects immune regulation and increases risk of NCDs. The Nature Step calls for strengthening connections to nature. Physical activity in natural environments should be promoted, use of fresh vegetables, fruits and water increased, and consumption of sugary drinks, tobacco and alcohol restricted. Nature relatedness should be part of everyday life and especially emphasized in the care of children and the elderly. Taking "nature" to modern cities in a controlled way is possible but a challenge for urban planning, nature conservation, housing, traffic arrangements, energy production, and importantly for supplying and distributing food. Actions against the well-known respiratory risk factors, air pollution and smoking, should be taken simultaneously. Conclusions: In Finland and elsewhere in Europe, successful programmes have been implemented to reduce the burden of respiratory disorders and other NCDs. Unhealthy behaviour can be changed by well-coordinated actions involving all stakeholders. The growing public health concern caused by NCDs in urban surroundings cannot be solved by health care alone; a multidisciplinary approach is mandatory.
  • Haahtela, Tari; von Hertzen, Leena; Anto, Josep M; Bai, Chunxue; Baigenzhin, Abay; Bateman, Eric D; Behera, Digambar; Bennoor, Kazi; Camargos, Paulo; Chavannes, Niels; de Sousa, Jaime C; Cruz, Alvaro; Do Céu Teixeira, Maria; Erhola, Marina; Furman, Eeva; Gemicioğlu, Bilun; Gonzalez Diaz, Sandra; Hellings, Peter W; Jousilahti, Pekka; Khaltaev, Nikolai; Kolek, Vitezslav; Kuna, Piotr; La Grutta, Stefania; Lan, Le T T; Maglakelidze, Tamaz; Masjedi, Mohamed R; Mihaltan, Florin; Mohammad, Yousser; Nunes, Elizabete; Nyberg, Arvid; Quel, Jorge; Rosado-Pinto, Jose; Sagara, Hironori; Samolinski, Boleslaw; Schraufnagel, Dean; Sooronbaev, Talant; Tag Eldin, Mohamed; To, Teresa; Valiulis, Arunas; Varghese, Cherian; Vasankari, Tuula; Viegi, Giovanni; Winders, Tonya; Yañez, Anahi; Yorgancioğlu, Arzu; Yusuf, Osman; Bousquet, Jean; Billo, Nils E (BioMed Central, 2019)
    Abstract Background The Nature Step to Respiratory Health was the overarching theme of the 12th General Meeting of the Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases (GARD) in Helsinki, August 2018. New approaches are needed to improve respiratory health and reduce premature mortality of chronic diseases by 30% till 2030 (UN Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs). Planetary health is defined as the health of human civilization and the state of the natural systems on which it depends. Planetary health and human health are interconnected, and both need to be considered by individuals and governments while addressing several SDGs. Results The concept of the Nature Step has evolved from innovative research indicating, how changed lifestyle in urban surroundings reduces contact with biodiverse environments, impoverishes microbiota, affects immune regulation and increases risk of NCDs. The Nature Step calls for strengthening connections to nature. Physical activity in natural environments should be promoted, use of fresh vegetables, fruits and water increased, and consumption of sugary drinks, tobacco and alcohol restricted. Nature relatedness should be part of everyday life and especially emphasized in the care of children and the elderly. Taking “nature” to modern cities in a controlled way is possible but a challenge for urban planning, nature conservation, housing, traffic arrangements, energy production, and importantly for supplying and distributing food. Actions against the well-known respiratory risk factors, air pollution and smoking, should be taken simultaneously. Conclusions In Finland and elsewhere in Europe, successful programmes have been implemented to reduce the burden of respiratory disorders and other NCDs. Unhealthy behaviour can be changed by well-coordinated actions involving all stakeholders. The growing public health concern caused by NCDs in urban surroundings cannot be solved by health care alone; a multidisciplinary approach is mandatory.
  • Ghonaim, Marwa; Kalendar, Ruslan; Barakat, Hoda; Elsherif, Nahla; Ashry, Naglaa; Schulman, Alan (2020)
    Maize is one of the world’s most important crops and a model for grass genome research. Long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons comprise most of the maize genome; their ability to produce new copies makes them efficient high-throughput genetic markers. Inter-Retrotransposon-Amplified Polymorphisms (IRAPs) were used to study the genetic diversity of maize germplasm. Five LTR retrotransposons (Huck, Tekay, Opie, Ji, and Grande) were chosen, based on their large number of copies in the maize genome, whereas polymerase chain reaction primers were designed based on consensus LTR sequences. The LTR primers showed high quality and reproducible DNA fingerprints, with a total of 677 bands including 392 polymorphic bands showing 58% polymorphism between maize hybrid lines. These markers were used to identify genetic similarities among all lines of maize. Analysis of genetic similarity was carried out based on polymorphic amplicon profiles and genetic similarity phylogeny analysis. This diversity was expected to display ecogeographical patterns of variation and local adaptation. The clustering method showed that the varieties were grouped into three clusters differing in ecogeographical origin. Each of these clusters comprised divergent hybrids with convergent characters. The clusters reflected the differences among maize hybrids and were in accordance with their pedigree. The IRAP technique is an efficient high-throughput genetic marker-generating method.
  • Rissanen, Kaisa; Martin-Guay, Marc-Olivier; Riopel-Bouvier, Anne-Sophie; Paquette, Alain (2019)
    Biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning in forests by, for example, enhancing growth and altering the forest structure towards greater complexity with cascading effects on other processes and trophic levels. Complexity in forest canopy could enhance light interception and form a link between diversity and productivity in polyculture forests, but the effect of canopy structure on light interception is rarely directly measured. We modelled the canopy surface structure of a tree diversity experiment by photographing it using unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and combining the photos into a digital elevation model with photogrammetry tools. We analysed the effects of tree diversity and functional diversity on canopy structural complexity and light interception with a structural equation model. Our results show that: a) increased structural complexity of the canopy reduces light interception, whereas b) tree diversity increases the structural complexity of the canopy, and has a dual impact on light interception. Tree diversity decreased light interception through the structural complexity of the canopy but increased it probably through canopy packing and crown complementarity. However, the effects of both tree diversity and structural complexity of canopy were smaller than the effect of the functional identities of the tree species, especially the differences between deciduous and evergreen trees. We conclude that more complexity in canopy structure can be gained through increased tree diversity, but complex canopy structure does not increase light interception in young forests.
  • Haahtela, Tari; Hanski, Ilkka; Von Hertzen, Leena; Jousilahti, Pekka; Laatikainen, Tiina; Mäkelä, Mika J.; Puska, Pekka; Reijula, Kari; Saarinen, Kimmo; Vartiainen, Erkki; Vasankari, Tuula; Virtanen, Suvi (2017)
  • Niemelä, J. (Elsevier Science B.V., 1999)
    Disturbances and the consequent habitat heterogeneity are natural features of the boreal forest. Natural disturbances occurring at the level of populations, communities and ecosystems (meters to kilometers and years to hundreds of years), that is, at the `meso-scale' may provide useful guidelines for forest management. This approach is based on the assumption that species are adapted to the disturbance regime of the forest-type that they occupy. However, natural disturbance and human-caused disturbance, such as clear-cutting, may differ substantially in their ecological effects. Potential differences occur on several scales. On the stand scale, removal or destruction of important habitat structures, such as coarse woody debris, during traditional clear-cutting may affect species. On the landscape scale, fragmentation may cause local extinctions and hamper the recolonization of maturing sites by old-growth specialists. The effect of these differences on boreal biota needs to be assessed. On the stand scale, the degree of recovery (resilience) of populations and communities after human-caused disturbance versus natural disturbance, that is, the succession process, could be a useful criterion when developing new forestry methods. On the landscape scale, it is important to maintain enough patches of suitable habitat for the old-growth species in order to prevent local extinctions and to promote recolonizations. Natural landscapes could be used as a reference here. In conclusion, although possibilities of matching forestry with maintenance of taiga biota through development of harvesting methods that mimic natural disturbance seem reasonably good, there is an urgent need to establish criteria for the assessment of the success or failure of such methods. The resilience of forest ecosystems as re¯ected in population changes of surrogate taxa after disturbance could be used to guide management.
  • Attard, Karl M.; Rodil, Ivan F.; Berg, Peter; Mogg, Andrew; Westerbom, Mats; Norkko, Alf; Glud, Ronnie N. (2020)
  • Kuuluvainen, Timo; Hofgaard, Annika; Aakala, Tuomas; Jonsson, Bengt Gunnar (2017)
    North Fennoscandian mountain forests are distributed along the Scandes Mountains between Sweden and Norway, and the low-mountain regions of northern Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the adjacent northwestern Russia. Regionally, these forests are differentiated into spruce, pine or birch dominance due to climatic differences. Variation in tree species dominance within these regions is generally caused by a combination of historical and prevailing disturbance regimes, including both chronic and episodic disturbances, their magnitude and frequency, as well as differences in edaphic conditions and topography. Because of their remoteness, slow growth and restrictions of use, these mountain forests are generally less affected by human utilization than more productive and easily utilizable forests at lower elevations and/or latitudes. As a consequence, these northern forests of Europe are often referred to as "Europe's last wilderness", even if human influence of varying intensity has been ubiquitous through historical time. Because of their naturalness, the North Fennoscandian mountain forests are of paramount importance for biodiversity conservation, monitoring of ecosystem change and for their sociocultural values. As such, they also provide unique reference areas for basic and applied research, and for developing methods of forest conservation, restoration and ecosystem-based management for the entire Fennoscandia. However, the current rapid change in climate is predicted to profoundly affect the ecology and dynamics of these forests in the future. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Haahtela, Tari (2020)