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Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Biogeography

FORESTS and CO - Expected Results & Significance


This action will for the first time assess the synergies and trade-offs between forest carbon storage and biodiversity at the European scale, thereby contributing in four major ways to the scientific fields of forest ecology, conservation science, and sustainability science.

First, although the biodiversity/carbon relationship has been researched intensely recently, most studies focus on the relationship between tree diversity and carbon storage, neglecting other taxonomic groups, that may have important direct or cascading effects on carbon storage.

Second, we will provide a synthesis, based on existing data, on the relationship between biodiversity and carbon storage in unmanaged, old-growth forests, and under actual management conditions.

Third, we will test whether the same co-benefits apply at a stand- and at broader geographical scale.

Fourth, we will generate the first European-scale map of old-growth forest remnants which will provide first estimates of their extent and protection status, as well as the underlying drivers leading to the persistence of these remnants in Europe’s human-dominated forest landscapes.

Scientifically, FORESTS and CO will contribute substantially to the fields of forest ecology, conservation science, and sustainability science. From a policy perspective, FORESTS and CO will help to tailor forest management options to jointly foster carbon and biodiversity, thereby contributing to key policy goals on curbing climate change and biodiversity loss.