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How does forest certification contribute to boreal biodiversity conservation? Standards and outcomes in Sweden and NW Russia

Elbakidze, Marine and Angelstam, Per and Andersson, Kjell and Nordberg, Mats and Pautov, Yurij (2011). How does forest certification contribute to boreal biodiversity conservation? Standards and outcomes in Sweden and NW Russia. Forest ecology and management. 262:11, 1983-1995
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2011.08.040

Abstract

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is one of the leading forest certification schemes. While many studies concern political aspects and social outcomes of FSC, little is known about the contribution of certification to biodiversity conservation. In Europe, the Russian Federation and Sweden have the largest areas of FSC certified forest. We assessed the potential of FSC certification for boreal biodiversity conservation in terms of standard content, and outcomes as habitat area set aside and habitat network functionality. First, we compared the biodiversity conservation indicators at different spatial scales in Swedish and Russian FSC standards. Second, focusing on one large state forest management unit in each country, we compared the areas of formally and voluntarily set aside forests for biodiversity conservation. Third, we evaluated the structural habitat connectivity by applying morphological spatial pattern analysis, and potential functional connectivity by using habitat suitability index modelling for virtual species. The Russian standard included indicators for all spatial scales of biodiversity conservation, from tree and stand to land-scape and ecoregions. The Swedish standard focused mainly on stand and tree scales. The area of voluntary set-asides for FSC was similar in Sweden and Russia, while formal protection in the Russian case study was three times higher than in the Swedish one. Swedish set-aside core areas were two orders of magnitude smaller, had much lower structural and potential functional connectivity and were located in a fragmented forestland holding. We conclude that to understand the potential of FSC certification for biodiversity conservation both the standard content, and its implementation on the ground, need to be assessed. We discuss the potential of FSC certification for biodiversity conservation with different levels of ambition. We stress the need for developing rapid assessment tools to evaluate outcomes of FSC for biodiversity conservation on the ground, which could be used by forest managers and FSC-auditors toward adaptive governance and management.

Authors/Creators:Elbakidze, Marine and Angelstam, Per and Andersson, Kjell and Nordberg, Mats and Pautov, Yurij
Title:How does forest certification contribute to boreal biodiversity conservation? Standards and outcomes in Sweden and NW Russia
Series/Journal:Forest ecology and management (0378-1127)
Year of publishing :August 2011
Volume:262
Number:11
Page range:1983-1995
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0378-1127
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Accepted version
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:K Forestry > K11 Forest engineering
K Forestry > K70 Forest injuries and protection
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 > 2 Engineering and Technology > 207 Environmental Engineering > Environmental Management
Keywords:structural habitat connectivity, potential functional habitat connectivity, virtual species, morphological spatial pattern analysis, pattern classes
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-263
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-263
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1016/j.foreco.2011.08.040
ID Code:8437
Department:(S) > School for Forest Management
External funders:FORMAS and Marcus och Amalia Wallenbergs minnesfond
Deposited By: Marine Elbakidze
Deposited On:17 Nov 2011 14:51
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:47

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