Groves are lush habitats rich in species.
Groves are the most fertile spots in the Finnish forest environment. This is because of nutrient-rich soil compared to the soils found elsewhere in the forest. Groves account for only one percent of the total forest area in Finland. They are mainly located close to southern coastline and regional grove hotspots around the country. Due to the high production capacity of their soils, a significant part of grove forests are converted to agricultural land over time. Grove forests have thus become rare.
Groves are valuable biotopes for biodiversity. Many demanding plants thrive in fertile conditions of groves. Many broadleaved tree species and the species dependent on them, inhabit groves. By number of species, grove habitats boast the highest biodiversity in Finnish forests. They also play a key role for threatened species: around 45% of red-listed forest species can be found in groves.
Grove forests in their natural state are protected for biodiversity; but groves exist in commercial forests too. Some groves benefit from forest management done to maintain their features that are important for biodiversity. The most common operations relate to tree species composition, including decreasing the share of spruce and promoting broadleaves. This enables also better growth conditions for shrubs and other grove vegetation on the forest floor.