Metla Project 3317

Natural forests: structure, dynamics and biodiversity as compared with managed forests

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Duration: 2001-2006   Keywords: biodiversity, carbon balance, coarse woody debris, forest dynamics, natural forest, naturalness, representativeness of protected forests, restoration, succession
Research Programme: Alternatives of silvicultural practices in forest management and their effects on forest production


The main aim of the project is to produce knowledge about the structure and development of natural forests. This knowledge can be used as reference to improve existing stand-development models, and to revise the guidelines for restoration and biodiversity-oriented silviculture in managed forests. The stand characteristics including dead wood (average values and variation) of natural forests at different site types and in different vegetation zones will be described. The influence of previous cutting on the structure and naturalness of stands, and the re-establishment of natural structures after cutting will be assessed. Growth, mortality, accumulation rate of dead wood, and carbon balance will be studied and modeled, as well as successional trends and regeneration in protected forests in the absence of natural fire regime. The specific links between stand structure and diversity of different species groups will be studied with the emphasis on species that have declined as a result of forest management. The aims and means of restoration will be specified by highlighting the differences between natural and managed forest in those structural features that are the most important for maintaining biodiversity. Regional representativeness of protected forests within the conservation area network will be assessed based on the results of the 9th National Forest Inventory.

Project leader: Siitonen, Juha
The Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa Unit, PL 18, FI-01301 VANTAA, FINLAND
Phone: +358 29 532 5491

Other researchers: Eerikäinen, Kalle, JO (2004), Eriksson, Ismo (2002-04), Heikkinen, Annamari (2006), Hottola, Jenni, VA (2002-04), Huotari, Tea (2005), Ikonen, Matti (2005), Isomäki, Antti (2004), Jakovlev, Jevgeni, VA (2003-06), Kosonen, Timo (2003,2005), Kumela, Hanna, VA (2005-06), Lehtonen, Mika, VA (2003-06), Lommi, Sampsa, VA (2003-06), Manninen, Olli (2002-05), Mattila, Jaakko, VA (2002-06), Mikkola, Nella, JO (2003-04), Mäkinen, Harri, VA (2003-04), Penttilä, Timo, VA (2004-05), Rantanen, Juha, VA (2001-04), Repola, Jaakko, RO (2005), Saarinen, Markku, PA (2001), Salo, Kauko, JO (2002), Siipilehto, Jouni, VA (2003), Soppela, Kimmo (2005), Starr, Michael, VA (2001-03), Talvitie, Mervi (2003-04), Tolonen, Timo (2005), Wikholm, Mari (2002,2004)

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Updated 12.06.2012