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Ecosystem service multifunctionality of low-productivity forests and implications for conservation and management

Jönsson, Mari and Snäll, Tord (2020). Ecosystem service multifunctionality of low-productivity forests and implications for conservation and management. Journal of Applied Ecology. 57 , 695-706
[Research article]

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Low-productivity forests are often the last remaining pristine forests in managed forest landscapes and typically overrepresented among protected forests. However, the provisioning of individual and multiple ecosystem services (ES-multifunctionality) by these forests remains poorly assessed, making it difficult to evaluate their importance in forest conservation and management.Here, using nationwide data on ES from over 2,000 forest plots, we test whether levels of ES-multifunctionality and individual ES differ between low-productivity forested mires and rocky outcrops in relation to the levels of productive forests, and as a function of forest age, tree species richness and climate. We defined ES-multifunctionality using different threshold values of the maximum levels (low, medium and high) and weighted these according to land-use objectives (equal weight of all services, greater weight to cultural and supporting ES or greater weight to production).We show that the ES-multifunctionality of forested mires is consistently lower than those of productive forests. However, the ES-multifunctionality increased with forest age in forested mires but not in productive forests. The ES-multifunctionality of forested rocky outcrops, on the other hand, was higher or equivalent to that of productive forests under equal weight and supporting land-use objectives, respectively. Our findings highlight that forested rocky outcrops can supply multiple ES, especially older forested stands with mixtures of coniferous and deciduous trees. Generally, we found no evidence for strong trade-offs between the ES studied and our results highlight the importance of forest age for increasing the ES-multifunctionality of low-productivity forests.Synthesis and applications. Low-productivity forests should not be exempt of forestry or protected purely based on low productivity or low land-use conflict if the goal is to conserve multiple ecosystem services (ES). Inclusion grounds for protecting low-productivity forests should instead carefully consider the site type (dry vs. wet), forest age and tree species richness. To maintain higher ES-multifunctionality in low-productivity forests, older or deciduous trees should also not be harvested. This will require changes in current conservation or management policies of low-productivity forests of some countries.

Authors/Creators:Jönsson, Mari and Snäll, Tord
Title:Ecosystem service multifunctionality of low-productivity forests and implications for conservation and management
Series Name/Journal:Journal of Applied Ecology
Year of publishing :2020
Page range:695-706
Number of Pages:12
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Forest Science
Keywords:ecosystem service multifunctionality, forest biodiversity, forest conservation and management, forest productivity, forested mire, forested rocky outcrop, low-productivity forest, Pinus sylvestris
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Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000513486200001
ID Code:16950
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Swedish Species Information Centre
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:08 May 2020 08:41
Metadata Last Modified:15 Jan 2021 19:23

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