Forests serve economic, social, cultural and environmental purposes, offer habitats for most terrestrial organisms and play a major role in mitigating climate change. Virtually all European forests are impacted by management, with substantial effects on biodiversity and ecosystem functions. Current European indicators of sustainable forest management mostly derive from information traditionally collected for timber production assessment, and include scarce direct information on biodiversity. Time is ripe to change this perspective by valuing existing information able to link forest multi-taxon biodiversity and management through observational and experimental approaches. The Action challenge is to increase the degree of sustainability of European temperate forest management for biodiversity. It will adopt a bottom-up approach by: i) creating a synergy of local research efforts; ii) using information on several taxa to inform sustainable management. The Action network will make available existing information on multi-taxon biodiversity, structure and management for more than 2100 sampling units across all temperate and hemiboreal forest types, and will involve managers of up to 200 million hectares of forests, as well as a large number of protected areas’ managers.
1. a standardized platform of multi-taxon data for European forests;
2. a network of forest sites with baseline information for future monitoring;
3. shared protocols for multi-taxon sampling;
4. an analysis of the relationships between multi-taxon biodiversity, structure and management;
5. a coordinated network of forest manipulation experiments;
6. indicators and thresholds of sustainable forest management directly tested on biodiversity;
7. management guidelines to be applied foremost in forest certification and within protected areas.