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Over the last 20 to 30 years economic pressures have resulted in more intensive forest management to maximise timber production. This is exemplified by: - an increased scale of harvesting with a greater removal of biomass (including a growing trend towards whole tree harvesting); - increased control of the regeneration process (by moving from natural regeneration to planting; by increased cultivation; by intensive vegetation and pest control);
- increased crop growth rates (by planting genetically improved stock; by fertilizing);
- more uniform and single species stands (all but the desired crop species removed and all trees of the desired form); - a modification of the natural disturbance pattern and process (eg control and/or reduction of forest fires).
silviculture and Biodiversity of Scots pine forests in Europe
These trends represent an accelerating pace of human induced environmental change in managed forests, and the effects of this change on forest biodiversity are largely unknown. The assumption that they have reduced forest biodiversity is influenced largely by single site or single region studies of individual high profile species (Spellerberg & Sawyer 1993) or as an incidental result of climate and environmental change monitoring networks. Much greater knowledge of the impact of forest management processes on biodiversity is inquired before we can ascertain whether the European forest industry is meeting the 1993 Helsinki guidelines on the sustainable management of forests in Europe.

Call for proposal

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Forestry Commission
Northern research station
EH25 9SY Roslin
United Kingdom

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EU contribution
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Participants (16)