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Expert assessment of landscape-level conservation strategies in boreal forests for biodiversity, recreation and water quality

Filyushkina, Anna and Ahlbäck Widenfalk, Lina and Nordström, Eva-Maria and Laudon, Hjalmar and Ranius, Thomas (2022). Expert assessment of landscape-level conservation strategies in boreal forests for biodiversity, recreation and water quality. Journal for Nature Conservation. 67 , 126180
[Research article]

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Abstract

Determining effects of landscape-level conservation strategies is needed, yet a challenging and costly endeavour. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of landscape-level conservation strategies in forests on biodiversity and provision of two ecosystem services (recreation and water quality). Specifically, we focused on the spatial allocation of unmanaged areas in production forests and different levels of "land sharing" or "land sparing". They were represented through seven scenarios constructed for a boreal managed forest landscape in central Sweden. All scenarios had the same total level of conservation effort, but they differed in the combinations of sizes of unmanaged areas and how these areas were spread in the landscape. In one scenario, this was complemented with extended rotation of production areas. Experts (researchers in relevant fields) assessed these scenarios for overall biodiversity, recreation, and water quality. We used the Delphi technique: experts filled out an online survey individually in two rounds. In the second round they were familiarized with anonymized responses of others from the previous round. There was little agreement between experts whether concentration of unmanaged areas in one part of the landscape or dispersion of them around the entire area is more beneficial, for biodiversity as well as for the two ecosystem services. The explanation of the opinions given by biodiversity experts were based on different ecological theories resulting in different conclusions (mainly habitat complementation vs. metapopulation ecology). A few large unmanaged areas were considered more beneficial for biodiversity than many small areas. The main argument was that long-term species persistence becomes higher with larger areas. For recreation and water quality, there were almost no differences in estimates between these two strategies. One "land sharing" approach, retention trees, received the lowest score. The second "land sharing" approach, extended rotation, was scored higher, especially regarding recreation. This may be because extended rotations generate features of high recreational value, such as mature, thinned forests with not so much dead wood. Conclusively, we suggest a strategy of mixed conservation measures, with considerable efforts directed towards establishing and maintaining large unmanaged areas.

Authors/Creators:Filyushkina, Anna and Ahlbäck Widenfalk, Lina and Nordström, Eva-Maria and Laudon, Hjalmar and Ranius, Thomas
Title:Expert assessment of landscape-level conservation strategies in boreal forests for biodiversity, recreation and water quality
Series Name/Journal:Journal for Nature Conservation
Year of publishing :2022
Volume:67
Article number:126180
Number of Pages:9
Publisher:ELSEVIER GMBH
ISSN:1617-1381
Language:English
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
Keywords:Extended rotation, Land sparing vs land sharing, Nature reserves, Scenarios, Delphi technique
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-117143
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-117143
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1016/j.jnc.2022.126180
Web of Science (WoS)000791268300003
ID Code:27960
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology

(S) > Dept. of Forest Resource Management
(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Forest Resource Management

(S) > Dept. of Forest Ecology and Management
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:19 May 2022 15:25
Metadata Last Modified:19 May 2022 15:31

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