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Research article2014Peer reviewedOpen access

Dead wood creation to compensate for habitat loss from intensive forestry

Ranius, Thomas; Caruso, Alexandro; Jonsell, Mats; Juutinen, A.; Thor, Göran; Rudolphi, Jörgen


Negative consequences of human activities for biodiversity may be mitigated by compensation measures. Although the interest in applying compensation measures is generally increasing, such measures have rarely been applied in forestry. Many boreal forests are managed by clear felling and used for timber and pulp production. There is an increasing interest in intensifying forestry by also harvesting slash and stumps for biofuel at felling. We evaluated the efficiency of combining intensified forestry production with compensation measures, by estimating the net revenue from slash and stump harvest, the cost of high stump creation, and simulating habitat amount for 680 bark- and wood-living species (fungi, beetles, lichens, and bryophytes) in Norway spruce forests in Sweden under different scenarios of biofuel harvest and compensation. We show that the harvest of slash and stumps has a clear negative effect on the habitat amount available for many species, especially for many fungi and beetles. Combining slash harvesting with the creation of high stumps results in an economic surplus and at the same time provides significantly more habitat in comparison with no slash harvesting and no high stump creation. When undertaking stump harvesting it is currently impossible to achieve such positive effects. Thus, our analyses show that compensation can sometimes be a useful tool when both economic and biodiversity goals must be achieved in forestry, but in other cases it is a better alternative to avoid the activity that causes the negative effects. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Biodiversity offset; Cost-efficiency; Dead wood; Forest biomass harvesting; Saproxylic

Published in

Biological Conservation
2014, Volume: 169, pages: 277-284