The Action challenge is to increase the degree of sustainability of European temperate forest management for biodiversity. The Action will gather the most comprehensive knowledge of European multi-taxonomic forest biodiversity through the collaboration of research groups that collect data locally. It will adopt a bottom-up approach, by establishing a synergy of local research efforts to collect information on multi-taxon biodiversity, structure and management, to inform sustainable forest management.
Outcomes will include shared research and monitoring tools for forest biodiversity, innovative indicators for sustainable forest management (SFM) and management guidelines at the stand and landscape scale. These outcomes will improve forest management sustainability, ecosystem functioning and provisioning of services.
The Action involves about 100 researchers and stakeholders from more than 30 countries and presents an outstanding opportunity to develop a strong network of collaboration for standardised broad-scale multi-taxon studies in Europe.
Forests provide economic, social, cultural and environmental services. Sustainable forest management is a key to maintaining provision of these services. The majority of SFM Criteria and Indicators focuses on attributes relative to tree species or to the whole forest. With reference to biodiversity conservation, this means that the collected information cannot fully assess whether forests are being managed sustainably. To understand the drivers of forest biodiversity and drive sustainable management, several taxonomic groups should be investigated, since they may respond differently to the same environmental pressures. However, up to now, broad multi-taxonomic analyses were mainly performed through reviews and meta-analyses which limit our holistic understanding on the effects of forest management on different facets of biodiversity. Recently, several research institutions took up the challenge of multi-taxonomic field sampling. These local efforts, however, have limited extrapolation power to infer trends at the European scale. It is time to share, standardize and use existing multi-taxon data through a common platform to inform sound management and political decisions.
The objective is to increase the degree of sustainability of European forest management for biodiversity. Specific objectives include:
- Developing a standardized platform of multi-taxon data;
- Establishing a network of forest sites with baseline information for future monitoring;
- Designing shared protocols for multi-taxon sampling;
- Assessing the relationships between multi-taxon biodiversity, structure and management;
- Creating a coordinated network of forest manipulation experiments;
- Evaluating indicators and thresholds of sustainability directly tested on biodiversity;
- Developing management guidelines defining sustainable management to be applied in forest certification and within protected areas.