We estimated the need for nature reserves to maintain forest biodiversity in Sweden. Using habitat-loss thresholds for long-term survival of resident vertebrate ''umbrella'' species, and differences in forest disturbance regimes, we estimated the long-term protection in four biogeographic regions. No reserve need was assumed for forest environments that can be emulated by normal management. The estimates of the long-term need of reserves ranged from 9% (northern Sweden) to 16% southernmost Sweden) and was divided into: (1) existing protected forests (1.6–0.6%); (2) estimated benefits for biodiversity of special forest management (0.7–0%); (3) existing unprotected forests with high conservation value (3.5–1.9%). The remaining areas required to satisfy the long-term reserve goal were cultural landscape habitats (0–2.2%), as well as land for habitat restoration and re-creation (3–11%). Our analysis suggests that it is urgent to maintain all remnants of natural forests and cultural landscape habitats, but that forest protection alone is insufficient to maintain forest biodiversity.
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Document Type: Research Article
Department of Conservation Biology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Grimsö Wildlife Research Station, SE-730 91 Riddarhyttan, Sweden
Pro Natura, Halnagården, SE-545 93 Töreboda, Sweden
Publication date: 2001-03-15
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