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 editorsKomonen, Atte; Tuominen, Laura; Purhonen, Jenna; Halme, Panu

Journal or seriesForest Ecology and Management



Publication year2020


Article number117724


Publication countryNetherlands

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessNot 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.

Keywordsforestsboreal zoneforest conservationbiodiversitylandscapetree speciesdecayed woodaspenelk

Free keywordsAlces alces; biodiversity; boreal forest; disturbance; landscape; Populus tremula

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2020

JUFO rating3

Last updated on 2024-22-04 at 13:09