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Protecting threatened species in commercial forests

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Protecting threatened species in commercial forests

sustainable forestry

Threatened species also thrive in commercial forests

The majority (about 85%) of Finnish forests are used for commercial purposes. It is crucially important that these managed forests contain diverse elements that meet the habitat requirements of different species. The nature conservation area network is an important tool in safeguarding biodiversity, but a number of rare and threatened species can thrive well in managed forests as long as the structural features that their habitats require are secured in forestry operations.

When occurrence data on threatened species is received, it is recorded to GIS system. Species data is a key factor in protecting them, as many species are hard to spot when planning and implementing forestry operations. Guidelines for management planning are derived from species-specific habitat requirements: some species need a dry, light environment while others only live in shady and moist conditions. Tolerance of change also varies between species. The appropriate forest management measures are decided on a species-specific basis.

Fence-rail cladonia (cladonia parasitica) and fire lichens such as Carbonicola anthracophila, Carbonicola myrmecina and Hertelidea botryosa are dependent on heat and light. They typically grow on old deadwood, old burnt stumps or burnt wood. In this UPM-owned forest, the occurrence of these species after harvesting is ensured by safeguarding the existence of important resources for these species. During harvesting and soil preparation, all deadwood and burnt stumps are left untouched. During seedling stand management, burnt stumps are freed from being shaded. The resource continuity required by the species is ensured with retention trees, artificial snags and retention tree group burnings. These activities secure the existence of deadwood, burnt wood and burnt stumps.

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