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FutureForCoppiceS will use “consolidated“ or “traditional” as well as “new” SFM indicators to evaluate the sustainability of different management approaches for coppice forests.

The use of “traditional” indicators is justified by the need of (a) obtaining data comparable with national/international statistics; (b) demonstrating that SFM criteria and indicators can be a convenient frame also at local level (thus promoting their application and transferability).

The use of “new” indicators is justified by the need to corroborate generic information (e.g. diversity of tree species composition) with more specific/robust information (e.g. diversity of herbaceous forest species, lichens, mushrooms, fungi, forest birds), and by the scale of the project (data will be generated at the site-plot level).
Traditional SFM indicators are customary reported by national statistics, but their application at the level of individual forest districts is much less frequent. In this line, their responsiveness in relation to different management approaches, their applicability and transferability, and their performance against more specific, functionally oriented indicators can better be evaluated at the local level.

 

1 - Enhancement of Forest Resources and their Contribution to Global Carbon Cycles

This criterion promotes sustainable forest management by describing the evolution and status of forest resources in Europe and explaining/addressing forests’ contribution to the global carbon cycles.

 Consolidated indicator  New indicator tested
 Growing Stock  Total aboveground biomass
 Age structure and/or diameter distribution  Growth efficiency
 Carbon Stock  

 

 

2 - Forest ecosystems’ health and vitality

Abiotic and biotic factors affects forest health and vitality and can increase forest susceptibility to disturbances or changes in the environment. This criterion describes how these factors affect forests and allows evaluating forests health and vitality.

 Consolidated indicator  New indicator tested
  Deposition of air pollutants   Tree  growth
  Soil condition  Mortality rate
  Defoliation  Chlorophyll a florescence
 Forest damage  Chlorophyll content
   Leaf traits

 

 

3 - Productive functions of forests (wood and non-wood)

This criterion describes the economic and social utility of forest resources to national economies and forest-dependent people. It reflects the wish to maintain an ample and valuable supply of forest products and services, while at the same time ensuring that production and harvesting are sustainable and do not compromise the management options for future generations to have productive forests.

 Consolidated indicator  New indicator tested
Increment and fellings   Increment and fellings (at the site level)
Roundwood   Volume increment
Non-wood goods  Non-wood goods (edible mushroom production)

 

 

4 - Biological diversity in forest ecosystems

Progress towards sustainable forest management has to be consistent with the conservation of biological diversity. This criterion describes the variety of existing life forms, the ecological roles they perform and the genetic diversity they contain in European forests and the way they are managed. New pressures in the twenty-first century demand a more balanced approach in order to conserve biological diversity.

 Consolidated indicator  New indicator tested
  Tree species composition   Higher plants species diversity
  Introduced tree species   Epiphytic lichens
  Deadwood  Fungi and mushrooms
 Threatened forest species  Forest breeding birds

 

 

5 - Protective functions  in forest management (notably soil and water)

This criterion describes forests protective functions across European countries. These functions include the prevention and mitigation of erosion and loss of soil, the preservation of drinking water resources, the stabilization of stream banks or sand dunes, and the reduction of noise pollution. Forests also play a role protecting human infrastructures from avalanches, landslides and rock fall and against natural or induced hazards as storms, fires, floods, etc.

 Consolidated indicator  New indicator tested
No customary indicators will be accounted within this criterion given the scale concerned, i.e. individual sites with several plots rather than large forest areas   Overstorey cover
  Understorey cover
 Ground litter depth
 Bryophyte ground  cover
 Flood retention

 

 

6 - Socio-economic functions and conditions

This criterion describes the socio-economic aspects of forest in Europe the size and ownership of the forest land areas, the forest sector and its economy, and the recreation, cultural and spiritual values of forests.

 Consolidated indicator  New indicator tested
Contribution of forest sector to GDP   Forest sector workforce
Net revenue   Trade in wood
   Energy from wood resources
   Accessibility for recreation