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Research article2020Peer reviewedOpen access

Keeping pace with forestry: Multi-scale conservation in a changing production forest matrix

Felton, Adam; Lofroth, Therese; Angelstam, Per; Gustafsson, Lena; Hjalten, Joakim; Felton, Annika M.; Simonsson, Per; Dahlberg, Anders; Lindbladh, Matts; Svensson, Johan; Nilsson, Urban; Lodin, Isak; Hedwall, P. O.; Stens, Anna; Lamas, Tomas; Brunet, Jorg; Kalen, Christer; Kristrom, Bengt; Gemmel, Pelle; Ranius, Thomas


The multi-scale approach to conserving forest biodiversity has been used in Sweden since the 1980s, a period defined by increased reserve area and conservation actions within production forests. However, two thousand forest-associated species remain on Sweden's red-list, and Sweden's 2020 goals for sustainable forests are not being met. We argue that ongoing changes in the production forest matrix require more consideration, and that multi-scale conservation must be adapted to, and integrated with, production forest development. To make this case, we summarize trends in habitat provision by Sweden's protected and production forests, and the variety of ways silviculture can affect biodiversity. We discuss how different forestry trajectories affect the type and extent of conservation approaches needed to secure biodiversity, and suggest leverage points for aiding the adoption of diversified silviculture. Sweden's long-term experience with multi-scale conservation and intensive forestry provides insights for other countries trying to conserve species within production landscapes.


Biodiversity conservation; Climate change mitigation; Even-aged forestry; Green-tree retention; Habitat loss; Protected areas

Published in

AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
2020, Volume: 49, pages: 1050-1064
Publisher: SPRINGER