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State of Finland's Forests 2012: Finnish Forests in
European context demonstrated with selected indicators

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The majority of forests in Finland are predominantly coniferous, with broadleaves often growing in mixed stands.

Forest area

Forest area is the traditionally most obvious indicator of changes in forests. Forest area indicates changes in the land area covered by forests as well as in the percentage of forests compared to other types of land use. The use of forestry land is subject to a variety of widely different and simultaneous aims, needs and wishes: wood production, recreation, nature protection, tourisms and landscape management. These differing aims can be reconciled through the multiple-use principle, without having to segregate forest areas by function or purpose. Forests, however are very different in their composition and structure, and need a detailed analysis by many aspects to provide a true picture.

The forest cover in Finland is more extensive than in any other European country. Three fourths of the land area, some 23 million hectares (76%), is under forests. In addition, there are land areas under management where there are only few trees, such as open peatland and areas of exposed bedrock, over 3 million hectares altogether. Nearly 90% of the forests are predominantly coniferous forests of pine or spruce. Nearly all (96%) the Finnish forests are classified as semi-natural forests showing characters of human impact. The amount of undisturbed forests is 4%, of which nearly 60% are locating in protected areas.

The forest area of Finland represent about 11% of the forest area in Europe (210 million ha). Half of the European forests are predominantly coniferous, a quarter a predominantly broadleaved and a quarter are mixed. About 87 percent of the European forests is classified as semi-natural. Undisturbed forests and plantations cover 4 percent and 9 percent, respectively, of the forest area in Europe.

Forest and other wooded land as % of land area.

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