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The Natural Resources Institute Finland and the Finnish Environment Institute have launched a research project to clarify, how the changes in forestry activities and increase in forest protection have affcted the forest biodiversity in Finland.
The target of the research is to clarify also how to develope the nature management of commercial forests in order to increase biodiversity. In addition to the present forestry activities, the research evaluates the effects of intensified nature management as well.
This is the first time in Finland, when the ecological sustainability of commercial forests is clarified from this point of view on this scope in Finland. The research project is financed by forest industry and it is a part of the forest environment programme of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation, launched in 2016.
Since 1990s, the forestry in Finland has taken the nature values into consideration significantly better than previously. However, the changes in forests and nature will be visible only after decades.
”We need more information on the effects in the long run, in order to be able to develope the nature management methods in a best possible way, ” says Tiina Vuoristo, Chief of Sustainability in the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.
The development of the structural characteristics will be studied according to information gained from the National Forest Inventories. In addition to this, the Natural Resources Institute evaluates also the future development of the forests according to two sceanarios of nature management: the present one and the intensified one.
The researchers of the Finnish Enviromment Institute evaluate, how the development of the forest characteristics affect the preservation of forest species. ”In addition to this, we gather more specific information of the species of the so called key habitats, especially of the moss and lichen living on the branches and trunks of trees,” says Saija Kuusela, the Project Manager of the Institute.
According to the previosly published joint report of the institutes, if there will be larger loggings in Finnish forests, there is a need to improve the biodiversity safeguarding efforts. The target of the research project is to evaluate, which methods need improvement, and which methods have currently been taken sufficiently into consideration.
The research project, due to last until the end of 2018, will shed light to the effects of the changes in nature management the future as well.