Conservation of ecologically significant trees i.e. trees with holes

Conservation of ecologically significant trees i.e. trees with holes
Old and dead trees are important habitats. © Hubertus Schwarzentraub

Involved sectors

Forestry, Nature protection, Local population/citizens

Affected habitats

Forest

Description

In a commercial forest, besides the creation and maintenance of old-growth and deadwood islands, the conservation of specific individual trees (nest and hollow trees, trees with rotten sections or fungal infections, or bizarre trees) in the forest stand plays an important role. Between the old-growth and deadwood islands, these individual trees serve as stepping stones or transitional biotopes, especially for less mobile species of fauna in search of new habitats. These trees are particularly important in intensively used forest stands. They also help to safeguard, in the medium to long term, a sufficient high proportion of biotope trees in the forest. The definition of the number, distribution, species and characteristics of these trees must take place in line with local conditions.

Impact

Impact in particular on Small mammals, Birds, Insects
Ecological impact  
Improvement or preservation of habitats The trees enhance the forest biotope and provide a habitat for flora, fungi and fauna (nesting places, deadwood for insects, etc.).
Element of ecological network Between the old-growth and deadwood islands, these individual trees serve as stepping stones or transitional biotopes, especially for less mobile species of fauna in search of new habitats.
Time of realisation for measure Immediate: Depending on the age of the selected trees, they can take on this role immediately or over the long term. The processes of ageing and decay take many years.
Impact scope Local (municipality): With a sufficient number of trees, appropriately distributed, good local impacts can be achieved.

Implementation

Implementation period Days: The selection of trees takes place as part of normal inventory work or during marking of trees for felling; no further work is involved afterwards.
Frequency Recurring: Requires regular management or adaptation and careful land management.

Economic and legal aspects

Costs Very low (less than 1'000 EUR): Subsidies can amount to €40-80 per trunk/p.a. depending on species and number of trees.
Socio-economic impacts Low: Possible loss of revenue through non-use, but this can be compensated regionally from subsidies.
Sources of financing Public: local, Public: regional, Public: national, Public: European
Legal situation Safety obligations established in law must be complied with during site selection.

Further information

Evaluation The positive impacts of old-growth and deadwood, including isolate trees, in the forest stand are scientifically proven and are thus an integral part of sustainable forestry and various certification procedures. They are one of the most important elements of ecoconnectivity in the forest.
Information Other: Information is available from: http://www.waldwissen.net/ and various forestry authorities.

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