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Research article2019Peer reviewed

Diversification of forest management regimes secures tree microhabitats and bird abundance under climate change

Augustynczik, Andrey Lessa Derci; Asbeck, Thomas; Basile, Marco; Bauhus, Juergen; Storch, Ilse; Mikusinski, Grzegorz; Yousefpour, Rasoul; Hanewinkel, Marc


The loss of biodiversity in temperate forests due to combined effect of climate change and forest management poses a major threat to the functioning of these ecosystems in the future. Climate change is expected to modify ecological processes and amplify disturbances, compromising the provisioning of multiple ecosystem services. Here we investigate the impacts of climate change and forest management on the abundance of tree microhabitats and forest birds as biodiversity proxies, using an integrated modelling approach. To perform our analysis, we calibrated tree microhabitat and bird abundance in a forest landscape in Southwestern Germany, and coupled them with a climate sensitive forest growth model. Our results show generally positive impacts of climate warming and higher harvesting intensity on bird abundance, with up to 30% increase. Conversely, climate change and wood removals above 5% of the standing volume led to a loss of tree microhabitats. A diversified set of management regimes with different harvesting intensities applied in a landscape scale was required to balance this trade-off. For example, to maximize the expected bird abundance (up to 11%) and to avoid tree microhabitat abundance loss of >20% necessitates setting aside 10.2% of the forest area aside and application of harvesting intensities < 10.4% of the standing volume. We conclude that promoting forest structural complexity by diversifying management regimes across the landscape will be key to maintain forest biodiversity in temperate forests under climate change. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Forest management; Climate change; Biodiversity; Conservation planning; Tree microhabitats; Forest birds

Published in

Science of the Total Environment
2019, Volume: 650, pages: 2717-2730

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG15 Life on land

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