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Indicators for monitoring and evaluation of forest biodiversity in Europe


This project aims to develop an integrated system of indicators of forest biodiversity at regional/national, landscape and stand level for the main European forest types by:

A. Identifying potential indicators of forest biodiversity
A1) Identification of key parameters with respect to biodiversity according to forest structure and dynamics in a wide range of European forest types,
A2) Identifying potential indicators of forest biodiversity for these forest types,
A3) Agree the prefered methodology for assessing these indicators,

B. Presenting Biodiversity Evaluation Tools (BETs)
B1) Dialogue with end-users and B2) Packaging the results as Biodiversity Evaluation Tools (BETs).

Application of the knowledge obtained will ultimately serve:
1) The Helsinki Process which aims at sustainable forest management at a national scale,
2) National Biodiversity Assessments, as required by the Convention on Biological Diversity,
3) The development of Forest Certification,
4) Management planning of features of the landscape which are of major importance for wild fauna and flora (cf Directive 92/43 of the European Union;"Habitats Directive") and in particular of forest landscapes,
5) Forest managers, who need to prioritize stands for short or long-term retention, and develop management practices that do not adversely affect biodiversity.

This project will analyse the most important forest types in each of the six major European biogeographical regions in order to identify "key parameters" (a term broadly analoguos to "criteria" but used in this proposal to avoid the ambiguity often accompanying the term "criteria") of significance for forest biodiversity. "Parameters" include both parameters of forest biodiversity sensu strictu (e.g. species richness) and the parameters of forest structure and dynamics which determine forest biodiversity. Potential measures of these parameters, "indicators", will be identified and their potential for use at national/regional, landscape and stand level determined.

As European forest ecosystems show high diversity, and ongoing research activities and published results related to forest biodiversity are extensive, we feel strong justification for a concerted action project. This proposal thus involves active researchers and experts from 26 institutes/organisations representing 18 European countries and one Pan-European institute. The development of indicators and BET's will be based on existing knowledge derived from on-going research and literature, consideration of cost-effectiveness and end-user acceptance.

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10648 Stockholm

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Participants (25)