Long-Term Persistence of Aspen - a Key Host for Many Threatened Species - Is Endangered in Old-Growth Conservation Areas in Finland. Kouki, J.; Arnold, K.; and Martikainen, P. Journal for Nature Conservation, 12(1):41–52, July, 2004.
doi  abstract   bibtex   
Large, dead and dying European aspens (Populus tremula L.) host many threatened species in Fennoscandian boreal forests. Large aspen trees have mostly disappeared and are being harvested from the managed forests that cover 95\,% of the forest area in Finland. Due to the small area protected (4.1%), the aspen-associated species may encounter major difficulties in the protected areas if aspen trees disappear due to natural forest succession. The availability of aspens was assessed in the old-growth conservation area network in eastern Finland. We mapped all the living and dead aspens in 15 protected old-growth forests. The total number of counted trees was 32 903 individuals. Current amounts of living (2.7 m3/ha) and especially dead aspens (2.8 m3/ha) in the protected areas were higher than in the surrounding managed forests (1.1 and 0.1 m3/ha for living and dead trees, respectively). However, while saplings (dbh$<$5 cm) occur in most of the areas (12 individuals/ha on average) they survive poorly and young aspen cohorts (5 cm $<$dbh$<$15 cm) are lacking or are very rare. The most likely reason for the poor sapling survival is high browsing pressure by the mammalian herbivores, especially the moose. The moose population has increased many times in Finland during the past decades. The poor regeneration of aspens implies that the value of the old-growth conservation areas for aspen-associated species will face a serious bottleneck within a few decades when the currently middle-aged tree cohorts disappear. If the current high browsing pressure and lack of natural disturbances continue the obligatory aspen-associated species may disappear both locally and regionally from the network of the protected areas.
@article{koukiLongtermPersistenceAspen2004,
  title = {Long-Term Persistence of Aspen - a Key Host for Many Threatened Species - Is Endangered in Old-Growth Conservation Areas in {{Finland}}},
  author = {Kouki, Jari and Arnold, Kerstin and Martikainen, Petri},
  year = {2004},
  month = jul,
  volume = {12},
  pages = {41--52},
  issn = {1617-1381},
  doi = {10.1016/j.jnc.2003.08.002},
  abstract = {Large, dead and dying European aspens (Populus tremula L.) host many threatened species in Fennoscandian boreal forests. Large aspen trees have mostly disappeared and are being harvested from the managed forests that cover 95\,\% of the forest area in Finland. Due to the small area protected (4.1\%), the aspen-associated species may encounter major difficulties in the protected areas if aspen trees disappear due to natural forest succession. The availability of aspens was assessed in the old-growth conservation area network in eastern Finland. We mapped all the living and dead aspens in 15 protected old-growth forests. The total number of counted trees was 32 903 individuals. Current amounts of living (2.7 m3/ha) and especially dead aspens (2.8 m3/ha) in the protected areas were higher than in the surrounding managed forests (1.1 and 0.1 m3/ha for living and dead trees, respectively). However, while saplings (dbh{$<$}5 cm) occur in most of the areas (12 individuals/ha on average) they survive poorly and young aspen cohorts (5 cm {$<$}dbh{$<$}15 cm) are lacking or are very rare. The most likely reason for the poor sapling survival is high browsing pressure by the mammalian herbivores, especially the moose. The moose population has increased many times in Finland during the past decades. The poor regeneration of aspens implies that the value of the old-growth conservation areas for aspen-associated species will face a serious bottleneck within a few decades when the currently middle-aged tree cohorts disappear. If the current high browsing pressure and lack of natural disturbances continue the obligatory aspen-associated species may disappear both locally and regionally from the network of the protected areas.},
  journal = {Journal for Nature Conservation},
  keywords = {*imported-from-citeulike-INRMM,~INRMM-MiD:c-13501251,~to-add-doi-URL,finland,forest-conservation,populus-tremula},
  lccn = {INRMM-MiD:c-13501251},
  number = {1}
}
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