A1 Journal article (refereed)
Landscape structure influences browsing on a keystone tree species in conservation areas (2020)

Komonen, A., Tuominen, L., Purhonen, J., & Halme, P. (2020). Landscape structure influences browsing on a keystone tree species in conservation areas. Forest Ecology and Management, 457, Article 117724. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2019.117724

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Komonen, Atte; Tuominen, Laura; Purhonen, Jenna; Halme, Panu

Journal or series: Forest Ecology and Management

ISSN: 0378-1127

eISSN: 1872-7042

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 457

Article number: 117724

Publisher: Elsevier

Publication country: Netherlands

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2019.117724

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/68736


Aspen is a keystone species in boreal forests. The future of aspen in many conservation areas is threatened by ungulate browsing. Our aim was to study the effect of browsing on aspen regeneration and population structure in conservation areas in Central Finland, and the effect of surrounding landscape structure on browsing. Aspen density varied greatly among and within conservation areas. In about half of the conservation areas, middle-sized aspens were scarce or missing, which indicates heavy browsing in the recent past. In addition, the number of dead, large aspens in advanced decay stages were rare. Browsing pressure varied greatly among the areas, but on average, a bit more than half of the living aspens had been browsed. Landscape structure influenced browsing so that increasing proportion of farmland within 1 km and 3 km of the conservation areas decreased browsing pressure. The poor recruitment of aspen in many conservation areas jeopardizes the accumulation of large living and dead aspens. This means that many aspen-associated threatened species are in the risk of local extinction, unless aspen recruitment is enhanced by management.

Keywords: forests; boreal zone; forest conservation; biodiversity; landscape; tree species; decayed wood; aspen; elk

Free keywords: Alces alces; biodiversity; boreal forest; disturbance; landscape; Populus tremula

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 3

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 13:32