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Research article, 2006

Extinction risk of wood-living model species in forest landscapes as related to forest history and conservation strategy

Ranius, Thomas; Kindvall, Oskar


Dead wood is a critical resource for biodiversity in boreal forests. We analysed the persistence of five model species inhabiting dead wood. By parameterising a metapopulation model (the incidence function model), the model species were all assigned characteristics that makes it likely that they have disappeared from some (20%) forest landscapes with a long history of forest management. In the metapopulation model, a forest stand (5 ha) was regarded as a habitat patch. The amount of habitat in each patch was obtained from models of dead wood dynamics of Norway spruce in central Sweden. Dead wood generated by altered management over the entire landscape was found to be less efficient in reducing extinction risks in comparison to the same amount of dead wood generated by protecting reserves. Because generation of dead wood by altered management is often less expensive than setting aside reserves, it is difficult to determine which conservation measure is most cost-efficient. In a landscape subjected to forestry for the first time, it was better to preserve a few large reserves than many small ones. However, in a managed, highly fragmented forest landscape it was better to set aside many small reserves. The reason for this was that small plots with high habitat quality could be selected, while large reserves originally contained habitats both of high and low quality, and the rate of habitat quality increase was low. A strategy for biodiversity conservation in a managed forest landscape should include information about the history of the landscape, the current amount and spatial distribution of forest habitats, and the potential for rapid restoration of forest habitats, both on managed and unmanaged forest land.


SLOSS; coarse woody debris; population viability analysis

Published in

Landscape Ecology
2006, number: 21
Publisher: Springer Verlag

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