Utilising our forests with care and understanding will ensure that they continue to deliver everything we value now and for generations to come. Wood is a much needed resource and will continue to be in future. The film wise use of our forests: the integrative approach aims at presenting Europe’s forest in this context.
Forests are teeming with life. They are among our most valuable terrestrial habitats and crucial for biodiversity. They cover about one third of Europe’s land surface and are habitat for many species. Europe’s forests differ widely from one region to another but are all the legacy of past management. Also today forests are utilised with only a small area formally protected. This has lead to biodiversity conservation increasingly regarded as being in conflict with harvesting trees. Further the demand for ecosystem services has continuously increased while forest area is limited.
Management legacies have often caused poor structural diversity in many forests, making protected areas with natural or near-natural forests highly relevant for studying which processes, structures and substrates we should keep in managed forests to foster biodiversity. Retaining deadwood and tree microhabitats can help provide suitable habitats for many forest dwelling species also in managed forest and thus covering a larger area of forested land. It may result in reduced timber harvests, but can also be seen as an investment in more resilient forests for the future. A means to reconcile biodiversity conservation and timber production is the concept of integrative, multifunctional forest management.