Do we protect the right forests? – A case study of representativeness of protected forests in Östergötland, Sweden, and identification of tracts of value.
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Protected forests need to be a representative selection of the natural proportion of forest types, including distribution of productivity levels, age classes and nature types This is important for the possibility to preserve biodiversity. In addition, the protected areas has to be of sufficient size and not isolated from each other, to function as effective biodiversity preservers. The question is, how does it look in reality? The objective with this study was to get an overall picture of the current forest protection situation in Östergötland, Sweden, and how it has changed the last 60 years. Are all ecologically relevant forest habitat types represented in appropriate proportions in protected forests? To evaluate where the protected areas are located in relation to each other, a connectivity index was calculated for each patch of protected area. Together with a value for size, a value index was created and applied to all protected areas, and it turns out that the protected areas of Östergötland is not totally representative when it comes to nature types, age classes and levels of productivity.For example, there is an underrepresentation of both pine and spruce forests on high-productivity soils. However, areas with higher productivity levels have been protected over time. The age distribution seems to be skewed towards older forests in protected areas. There are some underrepresented nature types, as well as overrepresented ones in nature reserves, a small overrepresentation of unproductive impediments, and only spruce and mixed forests seems well connected in the landscape. The greatest differences in protected and unprotected forests is the productivity level, were focus should be on protecting higher productivity areas in order to succeed in preserving the biodiversity of forests as intended.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 48 p.
Forest representativeness, connectivity, protected forests, forest productivity
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-121408ISRN: LiTH-IFM-PR-Ex--15/3111--SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-121408DiVA: diva2:854815
Subject / course