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Landscape trajectory of natural boreal forest loss as an impediment to green infrastructure

Svensson, Johan and Andersson, Jon and Sandström, Per and Mikusinski, Grzegorz and Jonsson, Bengt-Gunnar (2019). Landscape trajectory of natural boreal forest loss as an impediment to green infrastructure. Conservation biology. 33, 152-163
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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13148

Abstract

Loss of natural forests by forest clearcutting has been identified as a critical conservation challenge worldwide. This study addressed forest fragmentation and loss in the context of the establishment of a functional green infrastructure as a spatiotemporally connected landscape-scale network of habitats enhancing biodiversity, favorable conservation status, and ecosystem services. Through retrospective analysis of satellite images, we assessed a 50- to 60-year spatiotemporal clearcutting impact trajectory on natural and near-natural boreal forests across a sizable and representative region from the Gulf of Bothnia to the Scandinavian Mountain Range in northern Fennoscandia. This period broadly covers the whole forest clearcutting period; thus, our approach and results can be applied to comprehensive impact assessment of industrial forest management. The entire study region covers close to 46,000 km(2) of forest-dominated landscape in a late phase of transition from a natural or near-natural to a land-use modified state. We found a substantial loss of intact forest, in particular of large, contiguous areas, a spatial polarization of remaining forest on regional scale where the inland has been more severely affected than the mountain and coastal zones, and a pronounced impact on interior forest core areas. Salient results were a decrease in area of the largest intact forest patch from 225,853 to 68,714 ha in the mountain zone and from 257,715 to 38,668 ha in the foothills zone, a decrease from 75% to 38% intact forest in the inland zones, a decrease in largest patch core area (assessed by considering 100-m patch edge disturbance) from 6114 to 351 ha in the coastal zone, and a geographic imbalance in protected forest with an evident predominance in the mountain zone. These results demonstrate profound disturbance of configuration of the natural forest landscape and disrupted connectivity, which challenges the establishment of functional green infrastructure. Our approach supports the identification of forests for expanded protection and conservation-oriented forest landscape restoration.

Authors/Creators:Svensson, Johan and Andersson, Jon and Sandström, Per and Mikusinski, Grzegorz and Jonsson, Bengt-Gunnar
Title:Landscape trajectory of natural boreal forest loss as an impediment to green infrastructure
Series/Journal:Conservation biology (1523-1739)
Year of publishing :2019
Volume:33
Page range:152-163
Number of Pages:12
Publisher:Society for Conservation Biology, Wiley
ISSN:1523-1739
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Accepted version
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Forest Science
Keywords:change detection, clearcutting, continuity forest, continuous cover forest, forest core areas, forest fragmentation, landscape configuration, satellite image, Sweden
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-5251
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-5251
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1111/cobi.13148
Web of Science (WoS)000455121500016
ID Code:15882
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Forest Resource Management
(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Forest Resource Management

(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology

(S) > Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
(S) > School for Forest Management
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:05 Mar 2019 08:14
Metadata Last Modified:09 Jun 2019 23:15

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