Applications of landscape ecology in Forest Research

Targeting biodiversity action and evaluating landscape

There is a role for landscape ecology in both the targeting of actions to promote biodiversity, and also the evaluation of current and future solutions to support biodiversity in multi-use forest planning:

  • The targeting element ensures the appropriate action is applied in the most effective areas, and to influence the development of multi-use landscape plans.
  • The evaluation of planned landscape change, which will ultimately be a balance or compromise between the various environmental, economic and social objectives, ensures biodiversity is fully accounted for.

A diagram describing the roles of targeting action and evaluating landscapes in multi-use landscape planning

Prioritisation of management options

The order of strategic priorities for the improvement of wooded landscapes:

Priority Action Area of application Example specific to woodland
1 Protect and manage the existing resource High quality habitat Ancient semi natural woodland; Special Areas of Conservation
2 Restore or improve degraded habitat Target in areas with good restoration/improvement potential Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS); sites invaded by Rhododendron ponticum
3 Improve the matrix Areas of intensive landuse Increase in hedgerows in agricultural landscapes; reduction in pesticide/herbicide use; reduction in grazing densities.
4 Create new habitat Target to improve size or connectivity of existing habitat. Planting broadleaved trees suited to the site.

Applied studies

Within the Landscape Ecology programme we apply, evaluate and refine our approach using real landscapes, covering a range of scales and issues. Each case study has a direct application for (and is often commissioned by) forest managers working in the real world.

Links to applied studies: