Deadwood - living forests. The importance of veteran trees and deadwood to biodiversity



Posted on 25 October 2004  | 
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The lack of veteran trees and deadwood in Europe's forests is a major cause of biodiversity loss. The report reveals that a third of forest-dwelling species rely on dead or dying trees, logs, and branches for their survival. The removal of decaying timber and old trees from Europe's forests has led to a drastic decline in species such as insects, beetles, fungi, and lichens. Woodpeckers, bats, and squirrels which nest in hollow trees have also lost their natural habitat. Species relying on deadwood for food and/or shelter make up the single biggest group of threatened species in Europe.

In this brochure WWF describes the importance of deadwood, outlines some necessary steps for its conservation and restoration, and invites forest managers, forest owners, governments and the public to give this vitally important microhabitat a chance.

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