Full text of this article is only available in PDF format.

Guntis Brumelis (email), Bengt Gunnar Jonsson, Jari Kouki, Timo Kuuluvainen, Ekaterina Shorohova

Forest naturalness in northern Europe: perspectives on processes, structures and species diversity

Brumelis G., Jonsson B. G., Kouki J., Kuuluvainen T., Shorohova E. (2011). Forest naturalness in northern Europe: perspectives on processes, structures and species diversity. Silva Fennica vol. 45 no. 5 article id 446. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.446


Saving the remaining natural forests in northern Europe has been one of the main goals to halt the ongoing decline of forest biodiversity. To facilitate the recognition, mapping and efficient conservation of natural forests, there is an urgent need for a general formulation, based on ecological patterns and processes, of the concept of “forest naturalness”. However, complexity, structural idiosyncracy and dynamical features of unmanaged forest ecosystems at various spatio-temporal scales pose major challenges for such a formulation. The definitions hitherto used for the concept of forest naturalness can be fruitfully grouped into three dimensions: 1) structure-based concepts of natural forest, 2) species-based concepts of natural forest and 3) process-based concepts of natural forest. We propose that explicit and simultaneous consideration of all these three dimensions of naturalness can better cope with the natural variability of forest states and also aid in developing strategies for forest conservation and management in different situations. To become operational, criteria and indicators of forest naturalness need to integrate the three dimensions by combining species (e.g. red-listed-, indicator- and umbrella species) with stand and landscape level structural features that are indicative of disturbance and succession processes.

disturbances; dead wood; natural forest; biological diversity

Author Info
  • Brumelis, Faculty of Biology, University of Latvia, Kronvalda bulv. 4, Riga, LV-1586, Latvia; E-mail guntis.brumelis@lu.lv (email)
  • Jonsson, Department of Natural Sciences, Engineering and Mathematics, Mid Sweden University, Sundsvall, Sweden E-mail bgj@nn.se
  • Kouki, School of Forest Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Joensuu E-mail jk@nn.fi
  • Kuuluvainen, Department of Forest Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland E-mail tk@nn.fi
  • Shorohova, Saint-Petersburg State Forest Academy, Saint-Petersburg, Russia & Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa Research Unit, Vantaa, Finland E-mail es@nn.ru

Received 17 November 2010 Accepted 3 November 2011 Published 31 December 2011

Views 3812

Available at https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.446 | Download PDF

Creative Commons License CC BY-SA 4.0

Click this link to register to Silva Fennica.
Log in
If you are a registered user, log in to save your selected articles for later access.
Contents alert
Sign up to receive alerts of new content

Your selected articles
Your search results