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Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Biogeography

FORESTS and CO - Project goals

 

The overarching goal of FORESTS and CO is to assess whether measures designed to protect forest biodiversity and to increase carbon stocks in European forests are mutually consistent or conflicting. Using primary and old-growth forests to estimate baselines for carbon storage and biodiversity conservation potential for different forest types, FORESTS and CO will model the relationships between carbon storage and biodiversity in European Forests, and assess potential co-benefits or conflicts between them. Subsequently we will test whether the same co-benefits or conflicts occur in managed forests, since most forests in Europe are managed, and forest biodiversity therefore critically depends on these forests.

 

To achieve these goals, this action is composed of three research questions:

I: What is the distribution of primary and old-growth forest remnants in the Pan-European region?

Objective 1.1: Gather existing data on primary and old-growth forest remnants in Europe and create the first European-scale map of old-growth forest distribution

Objective 1.2: Analyze the spatial determinants underlying the distribution of primary and old-growth forest remnants

 

II: Quantify synergies or trade-offs occurring between carbon storage and biodiversity conservation in Pan-European forests?

Objective 2.1: Model the relationship between different biodiversity indicators and forest carbon stocks in European forests, using old-growth forest remnants as a benchmark.

Objective 2.2: Test whether this relationship is consistent across biogeographical regions, forest types when different taxonomical groups are considered

 

III: Are the patterns of co-occurrence between plant diversity and carbon stocks in European forests consistent when widening the perspective from the stand- to the regional-scale?

Objectives 3.1: Test how plant diversity indicators, calculated on the basis of data contained in the European Vegetation Archive, relate to forest carbon stocks at the regional scale.