Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Where are Europe’s last primary forests?

29.05.2018

HU research team created a map to protect wild forests

Scientists at the Geography Department of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU) have compiled the first map of the remaining primary forests in Europe. The map includes more than 1.4 million hectares of primary forest across 34 countries.


Map of the last remaining pristine forests in Europe

Copyright: Esri, HERE, Garmin, OpenStreetMap contributors, GIS user community

“It is not that these forests were never touched by man, this would be hard to believe in Europe”, explains Dr. Francesco Maria Sabatini. He is coordinator of the new study which has now been published in the journal Diversity & Distributions.

“Still, these are forests in which there are no clear visible indications of human activities, and in which ecological processes follow natural dynamics.”

Prof. Dr Tobias Kümmerle (HU), co-author, highlights: “Although these forests only make up a very small fraction of the forested area of Europe they have enormous value for conservation. Primary forests are the only places where many species on the verge of extinction are still to be found.

These forests are also vital for better understanding how human influences affect the forest ecosystem. Knowing where to find the last remaining primary forests is therefore extremely important. But prior to this study, there was simply no unified map for Europe.”

In order to prepare this map, several different datasets needed to be merged and harmonized. Dr. Francesco Maria Sabatini: “The success of the study relied on collaborating with hundreds of forestry specialists, NGO activists, and other experts who shared their knowledge about their countries with us.”

Even in Europe, preserving these pristine forests is not a matter of course

Although these forests occupy an area higher than previously expected, the study shows in particular that primary forests in Europe remain generally very rare, are located in remote areas, and are fragmented into small patches. Although 89 percent of Europe's primary forests are located within protected areas, they are still threatened.

“Wide patches of primary forest are currently logged in mountain areas, for instance in Romania and Slovakia or in some Balkan countries. A soaring demand for bioenergy coupled with high rates of illegal logging are leading to the destruction of this irreplaceable natural heritage – often without people even being aware that these forests are primary,” explains Professor Miroslav Svoboda, University of Life Science in Prague and co-author of the study.

The new map can contribute to preserving these forests. In addition, the map provides valuable evidence of where futher undiscovered patches of primary forest might be.

Publication
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ddi.12778

Further information
https://www.geographie.hu-berlin.de/en/professorships/biogeography/projects/fore...
https://forestsandco.wordpress.com/

Contact
Dr. Francesco Maria Sabatini
Geography Department
Tel.: 030 2093-5394
francesco.maria.sabatini@geo.hu-berlin.de

Sella Christin Bargel | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Plant Hormone Makes Space Farming a Possibility
17.10.2018 | Universität Zürich

nachricht Goldilocks principle in biology -- fine-tuning the 'just right' signal load
15.10.2018 | Aarhus University

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Goodbye, silicon? On the way to new electronic materials with metal-organic networks

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz (Germany) together with scientists from Dresden, Leipzig, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Madrid (Spain) have now developed and characterized a novel, metal-organic material which displays electrical properties mimicking those of highly crystalline silicon. The material which can easily be fabricated at room temperature could serve as a replacement for expensive conventional inorganic materials used in optoelectronics.

Silicon, a so called semiconductor, is currently widely employed for the development of components such as solar cells, LEDs or computer chips. High purity...

Im Focus: Storage & Transport of highly volatile Gases made safer & cheaper by the use of “Kinetic Trapping"

Augsburg chemists present a new technology for compressing, storing and transporting highly volatile gases in porous frameworks/New prospects for gas-powered vehicles

Storage of highly volatile gases has always been a major technological challenge, not least for use in the automotive sector, for, for example, methane or...

Im Focus: Disrupting crystalline order to restore superfluidity

When we put water in a freezer, water molecules crystallize and form ice. This change from one phase of matter to another is called a phase transition. While this transition, and countless others that occur in nature, typically takes place at the same fixed conditions, such as the freezing point, one can ask how it can be influenced in a controlled way.

We are all familiar with such control of the freezing transition, as it is an essential ingredient in the art of making a sorbet or a slushy. To make a cold...

Im Focus: Micro energy harvesters for the Internet of Things

Fraunhofer IWS Dresden scientists print electronic layers with polymer ink

Thin organic layers provide machines and equipment with new functions. They enable, for example, tiny energy recuperators. In future, these will be installed...

Im Focus: Dynamik einzelner Proteine

Neue Messmethode erlaubt es Forschenden, die Bewegung von Molekülen lange und genau zu verfolgen

Das Zusammenspiel aus Struktur und Dynamik bestimmt die Funktion von Proteinen, den molekularen Werkzeugen der Zelle. Durch Fortschritte in der...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Conference to pave the way for new therapies

17.10.2018 | Event News

Berlin5GWeek: Private industrial networks and temporary 5G connectivity islands

16.10.2018 | Event News

5th International Conference on Cellular Materials (CellMAT), Scientific Programme online

02.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gravitational Waves Could Shed Light on Dark Matter

22.10.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Nanocages in the lab and in the computer: how DNA-based dendrimers transport nanoparticles

19.10.2018 | Life Sciences

Thin films from Braunschweig on the way to Mercury

19.10.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>