From fundamental biodiversity research to practical recommendations for a biodiversity-orientated forest management

-A Knowledge Transfer Project-


Scientific Partners:

Prof. Dr. Christian Ammer

Dr. Steffi Heinrichs

Dr. Martina Mund

Dr. Peter Schall

(Uni Göttingen)


Application Partners:

Jan Engel (Federal Competence Centre Forestry, Eberswalde)

Dirk Fritzlar (Public Forestry Office (PFO) Hainich-Werratal)

Manfred Großmann (Hainich National park)

Matthias Kiess (PFO Reutlingen)

Elger Kohlstedt (PFO Leinefelde)

Achim Otto (PFO Heiligenstadt)

Ingolf Profft (Forest Research and Competence Centre Gotha)

Jörg Willner (Forestry and Landscape Management, City Mühlhausen)


Forests provide a multitude of ecosystem goods and services for human well-being, and changes in the biodiversity of forests due to forest management are expected to affect the goods and services of forests substantially. The effects of large-scale forest plantations, established and maintained by clear cutting, on biodiversity are already well known. Instead, the effects of less intensive management systems and the effects of mixtures of different management systems at the landscape level have been hardly studied, yet. Furthermore, in forestry practice there seems to be rather a conflict than a win-win situation between the conservation of biodiversity and a sustainable forest management in favor of the entire range of forest goods and services.

Since its establishment, the DFG-Biodiversity Exploratories (BE) have created a huge amount of data and results regarding the effects of forest management on biodiversity, and of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning, goods and services. This offers a great potential for knowledge transfer from biodiversity research to forestry and conservation practice, and vice versa. The urgent request by local stakeholders to make the results from the BE available and useable for their daily and practical work underlines the importance of such a transfer. However, up to now there are several constraints for a direct utilization of the results from the BE. The most important once are assumedly: (1) the results are mostly restricted to plot level and selected species groups, and (2) the diversity and manifold filters of real forest landscapes and real forestry as well as the large range of forest goods and services the forest sector has to provide have been insufficiently considered, yet.



The main objectives of the project are:

  • to transfer BE results to scales most relevant for forestry practice and nature conservation
  • to develop and transfer practice-orientated management options that optimize forest goods and services and biodiversity conservation at real forest landscapes

Work packages

  1. Evaluation of results from the BE and other biodiversity research projects and transfer of the results to scales most relevant for management
  2. Assessment of the foregoing transfer of knowledge from the BE to forestry and nature conservation practice, and vice versa
  3. Identification of research gaps and new practice-relevant questions for biodiversity research
  4. Development and transfer of practice-orientated management options to protect and enhance biodiversity under the constraints of real forest landscapes and considering the entire range of goods and services that are claimed by landowners and society



  • Data sources: BEXIS database of the BE, forestry databases of the application partners, bibliographic databases
  • Spatial analyses: (i) Virtual mixing of management systems and forest types to maximize biodiversity at the landscape scale (“virtual landscapes”). (ii) Analysis of the effects of neighborhood composition and configuration on both organismic (= species richness) and functional diversity of single experimental plots based on large-scale forestry data. Here, species or taxa that are highly relevant for nature conservation (e.g. red-list species) will particularly be considered. (iii) Comparison of optimized and existing forest landscapes to identify optional pathways for future management strategies
  • Development of a questionnaire and conduction of a survey among all landowners, enterprise and administration levels in forestry and nature conservation as well as all scientists involved or affected by the BE


Further project contribution of Prof. Dr. Christian Ammer: Forest structures
Previous project contribution of Prof. Dr. Christian Ammer: Neighbor, SHAPE

To top