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Effects of forest management on the biodiversity of headwater streams

The overall goals of this project are to evaluate the effects of clear-cutting and long-term forest re-growth on habitat quality and aquatic biodiversity in headwater streams of northern Sweden.

Bäck som rinner genom en skog. Foto: Martin Sjödin

Foto: Martin Sjödin

Headwater streams represent important habitats within forest landscapes, providing multiple ecosystem services, and contributing significantly to broad‐scale patterns of aquatic biodiversity. The ecological characteristics of small woodland streams are closely linked to the terrestrial landscapes they drain, and are known to be sensitive to land use activities, including forest management.

The overall goals of this project are to evaluate the effects of clear cutting and long‐term forest re‐growth on habitat quality and aquatic biodiversity in headwater streams of northern Sweden. This study will involve a spatially extensive survey of invertebrate biodiversity in streams draining forests at different stages of ‘post‐logging recovery’, ranging from recent clear‐cuts to ‘older‐growth’ woodlands. Research will take advantage of existing ecological field stations that are part of the Svartberget Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) network. Sites included in this network allow access to a range of small, well‐studied catchments that have variable management histories, but otherwise experience similar climatic conditions.

Results will provide novel and important information on the biodiversity of small Boreal streams, including the sensitivity of aquatic communities to different forest management practices, and the rates of ecological recovery following clear‐cutting. Research will seek to identify which habitat variables are most important for the maintenance of stream biodiversity in the Boreal landscape, and ultimately make recommendations to forest agencies on how to best protect and maintain the ecological integrity of Sweden’s headwaters.

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Ämne: Natur- och kulturvård
Startår: 2012

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Skogssällskapet är en av Sveriges största privata finansiärer av forskning och kunskapsutveckling om skog och naturvård.