European forest types for biodiversity assessment - A qualitative approach

R.H.W. Bradshaw, P.F. Møller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingspeer-review


The BEAR project (Biodiversity Evaluation Tools for European Forests) proposed 33 forest types for biodiversity assessment (FTBAs), many of which could be identified on the general map of natural vegetation of Europe (Bohn et al. 2000). Eight of these forest types were purely of cultural origin yet types such as hedgerow and coppice also have a significant biodiversity value. We propose a simpler qualitative classification, which is a more appropriate tool for monitoring forest biodiversity. It comprises 14 European forest types and was obtained by combining some of the BEAR FTBAs. For example, five boreal BEAR FTBAs become one new boreal category and Mediterranean riverine woodlands are merged with flood plain forests.

We use floodplain forest as an example of the revised approach. This covers: species composition and typical forest structure; the relationship of the category to FTBAs and other European classification systems; a distribution map and description of representation along nutrient rich-poor gradients and moisture gradients. Key factors that distinguish the types are described, with emphasis on historical background and development, disturbance regimes and current status with regard to management and threats. Examples of typical locations are also presented.

This essentially qualitative approach to forest type classification has the advantage that it takes into account existing ecological knowledge and highlights particular communities such as swamp forests that are not widespread but have a high biodiversity value.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMonitoring and indicators of forest biodiversity in Europe – from ideas to operationality
EditorsMarco Marchetti
PublisherEuropean Forest Institute
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)952-5453-05-7
ISBN (Print)952-5453-04-9
Publication statusPublished - 2004
EventMonitoring and Indicators of Forest Biodiversity in Europe - from ideas to operationality - Firenze, Italy
Duration: 12 Nov 200315 Nov 2003

Publication series

SeriesEuropean Forest Institute Proceedings


ConferenceMonitoring and Indicators of Forest Biodiversity in Europe - from ideas to operationality
CityFirenze, Italy

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 5: Nature and Climate


Dive into the research topics of 'European forest types for biodiversity assessment - A qualitative approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this