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State of Finland's Forests 2012: Criterion 4 Biological diversity

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Threatened forest species (4.8)

Grey snail (Bulgarica cana) is an extremely endangered species in Finland.

 

Monitoring of threatened29 species yields information about changes in forest ecosystems. It is estimated that there are about 45,000 species living in Finland, about half of which have their habitat in the forest. In the latest evaluation from 2010 21,400 species were assessed. About one tenth of them – 2,247 species – were classified as threatened. This percentage has not changed significantly from the previous evaluation.

Forest is the primary habitat for 814 threatened species (36% of the total). Of the threatened forest species, 82% live in herbrich forests and old-growth heathland forests. The taxonomic groups with the greatest number of threatened forest species are invertebrates and fungi. Changes in the forest habitat, especially the reduction in decaying wood, is the most common threat for forest species.

The Finnish evaluation of threatened species is the among of the most extensive assessments in the world. Similar evaluations have been made only in Sweden and Norway. The evaluation of 2010 made – for the second time – use of the international classification of threatened species, the IUCN classification. Based on the two consecutive, comparable evaluations carried out between a period of 10 years, comparison of development was possible for the first time.

The rate of decline of certain forest species has slowed down in Finland, or in some cases even stopped since the 1990s, although it has not been possible to halt the decline in the forest species overall. Actual taxonomic changes in the number of threatened forest species between 2000 and 2010 demonstrate that positive changes in threatened status had occurred in 81 species. About half of these are beetles, many of which have benefited from retention trees at harvesting sites, particularly aspen.

By contrast, 108 species whose primary habitat is the forest have experienced a deterioration. The trend was particularly significant for lichen. The classification of 34 species of lichen was upgraded, and none were downgraded. Similar negative trends were found among species of butterfly, beetle and hymenoptera. Factors in forest use constitute the principal cause in the decline for 606 species, or 74% of all threatened forest species. Forest management measures may have reduced the number of certain habitat types such as old-growth forests in their natural state while also weakening the quality of some forest habitats.

The number of threatened species is growing the fastest in traditional rural biotopes, of which wooded pastures and grazed forests are wooded land.

 

Table 4.8. Number of threatened forest and mire species

Primary habitat of species

Vertebrates

Invertebrates

Vascular plants

Cryptogams

Fungi and lichens

Total

 

Year

2000

2010

2000

2010

2000

2010

2000

2010

2000

2010

2000

2010

Species, grand total

383

 

26,600

 

3,200

 

5,900

 

6,906

 

43,000

 

The data was considered sufficient for evaluation of threatened species

346

 

8,599

 

1,208

 

901

 

4,027

 

15,081

 

Threatened species, total

50

 

759

 

180

 

142

 

374

 

1,505

 

Forests

12

14

252

476

35

32

15

18

250

274

564

814

Old heathland forests

4

2

69

80

-

 

1

8

70

76

144

166

Other heathland forests

3

4

10

37

3

4

1

 

24

18

41

63

Old herb-rich forests

1

1

58

66

-

1

8

7

32

32

99

107

Other herb-rich forests

2

1

64

140

26

21

4

3

120

112

216

277

Old-forest, general

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

12

Esker forests

-

 

15

104

6

6

-

 

-

2

21

112

Forest-fire areas

-

 

29

6

-

 

-

 

-

4

29

10

Birch stands in mountains

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

Other forests

2

 

7

 

-

 

1

 

4

 

14

 

Forests general

 

6

 

37

 

 

 

 

 

22

 

65

Peatlands

1

6

14

46

18

21

25

18

9

13

67

104

Fens

-

 

3

14

17

19

13

12

4

8

37

53

Bogs

1

4

2

8

1

2

1

2

2

1

7

17

Pine mires

-

1

5

13

-

 

-

 

1

1

6

15

Spruce mires

-

 

2

5

-

 

9

3

2

3

13

11

Other peatlands

-

 

2

 

-

 

2

 

-

 

4

 

Peatlands general

 

1

 

6

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

8

Watercourses

20

 

48

 

11

 

21

 

3

 

103

 

Shoreline areas

5

 

98

 

37

 

9

 

13

 

162

 

Exposed bedrock

-

 

11

 

14

 

56

 

44

 

125

 

Fells

6

 

16

 

15

 

16

 

10

 

63

 

Man-made environments etc.

6

 

320

 

50

 

-

 

45

 

421

 

 


Source: Rassi, P., Hyvärinen, E., Juslén, A. & Mannerkoski, I. (eds.) 2010: The 2010 Red List of Finnish Species. Ympäristöministeriö & Suomen ympäristökeskus, Helsinki. 685 p.; Rassi, P., Alanen, A., Kanerva, T. & Mannerkoski, I. (eds.) 2001. Suomen lajien uhanalaisuus 2000. [Endangered species in Finland 2000]

 

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29 Endangerment refers to the probability of the species becoming extinct. Anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic causes of endangerment are not distinguished in the assessment of endangerment. All threatened species are classified as critically endangered, vulnerable and endangered.

  Updated: 27.02.2012 /MLier |  Photo: Erkki Oksanen, Metla, unless otherwise stated | Copyright Metla | Feedback