Protective functions and ecosystem services of global forests in the past quarter-century

Miura, Satoru., Amacher, Michael., Hofer, Thomas., San-Miguel-Ayanz, Jesus., Ernawati and Thackway, Richard. (2015) Protective functions and ecosystem services of global forests in the past quarter-century. Forest Ecology and Management, 352 35-46. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2015.03.039

Author Miura, Satoru.
Amacher, Michael.
Hofer, Thomas.
San-Miguel-Ayanz, Jesus.
Thackway, Richard.
Title Protective functions and ecosystem services of global forests in the past quarter-century
Journal name Forest Ecology and Management   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0378-1127
Publication date 2015-09-07
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.foreco.2015.03.039
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 352
Start page 35
End page 46
Total pages 12
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Subject 1107 Forestry
2309 Nature and Landscape Conservation
2308 Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
Abstract The world’s forests provide fundamental protection of soil and water resources as well as multiple ecosystem services and cultural or spiritual values. We summarized the FRA 2015 data for protective functions and ecosystem services, and analyzed increasing or decreasing trends of protective areas. The global forest area managed for protection of soil and water was 1.002 billion ha as of 2015, which was 25.1% of all global forested areas. Protective forests have increased by 0.181 billion ha over the past 25 years mainly because more countries are now reporting protective forest areas (139 in 2015 vs 114 in 1990). However, average percentage of designated for protective forests did not change significantly from 1990 to 2015. Global forest area managed for ecosystem services is also now at 25.4% of global total forest area and has changed little over the past 25 years. Among the twelve categories of protective forests, flood control, public recreation, and cultural services increased both in terms of percentage of total forest area and the number of reporting countries. Public awareness of the importance of forest resources for functions and services other than production continues to increase as evidenced by the increase of protective forest designations and reporting in many countries. Percentages of total forest area designated for both protective forests and ecosystem services show a dual-peak distribution of numbers of countries concentrated at 0% and 100%. This suggests a socio-economic influence for the designations. We examined five case study countries (Australia, Canada, China, Kenya, and Russia). The most dramatic changes in the past 25 years have been in China where protective forests for soil and water resources increased from about 12% to 28% of forest area. The Russian Federation has also increased percentages of forest area devoted to soil and water resource protection and delivery of ecosystem services. Australia is now reporting in more protective forest categories whereas Kenya and Canada changed little. These five countries have their own classification of forest functions and recalculation methods of reporting for FRA 2015 were different. This demonstrates the difficulty in establishing a universal common designation scheme for multi-functions of forest. Production of more accurate assessments by further improvements in the reporting framework and data quality would help advance the value of FRA as the unique global database for forest functions integrated between forest ecosystems and social sciences.
Keyword Sustainable forest management
Multiple functions
Forest conservation
Ecosystem value
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
Official 2016 Collection
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