iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Integrating conservation objectives into forest management: coppice management and forest habitats in Natura 2000 sites

Paola Mairota (1)   , Peter Buckley (2), Christian Suchomel (3), Katrin Heinsoo (4), Kris Verheyen (5), Radim Hédl (6-7), Pier Giorgio Terzuolo (8), Roberto Sindaco (8), Anna Carpanelli (9)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 9, Issue 4, Pages 560-568 (2016)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1867-009
Published: May 12, 2016 - Copyright © 2016 SISEF

Research Articles

Collection/Special Issue: IUFRO division 8.02 - Mendel University Brno (Czech Republic) 2015
Coppice forests: past, present and future
Guest Editors: Tomas Vrska, Renzo Motta, Alex Mosseler

Most forest habitats, as defined and listed for their nature conservation importance in the Habitats Directive of the European Union and in the Bern Convention, result from centuries of human intervention. This paper explores the scope for, and the attitudes towards coppicing in Natura 2000 sites in some of the EU28 countries where coppice was historically one of the most important traditional silvicultural systems. A questionnaire survey was circulated to experts involved with Natura 2000 sites and case studies were conducted in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, to investigate attitudes to coppice silviculture within the framework of Natura 2000 site management plans. A list of forest habitat types capable of being managed as coppices was compiled and populated with sites at national and regional levels. At the regional level, management plans for the relevant forest habitat types in Natura 2000 sites were critically scrutinised together with other statutory, administrative or contractual measures. The results show that approaches to integrate coppice management into conservation plans differ widely. Examples of disparities are given and the possible causes discussed. A case is made for coppicing to be continued, where appropriate, as an important strategy in site management plans that aim to conserve habitats and improve forest biodiversity.


Habitats Directive, Natura 2000, Forest Habitat Types, Coppice, Biodiversity, Landscape

Authors’ address

Paola Mairota
Department of Agro-Environmental and Territorial Sciences, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, v. Orabona 4, I-70125 Bari (Italy)
Peter Buckley
Peter Buckley Associates, 8 Long Row, Mersham, Ashford, Kent TN25 7HD (UK)
Christian Suchomel
Chair of Landscape Management, University of Freiburg, Tennenbacher Str. 4, 79106 Freiburg (Germany)
Katrin Heinsoo
Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Estonian University of Life Sciences Kreutzwaldi 5, Tartu 51014 (Estonia)
Kris Verheyen
Forest & Nature Lab, Ghent University, Geraardsbergsesteenweg 267, 9090 Melle-Gontrode (Belgium)
Radim Hédl
Department of Vegetation Ecology, Institute of Botany, Czech Academy of Sciences, Lidická 25/27, 60200 Brno (Czech Republic)
Radim Hédl
Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Palacký University, Šlechtitelu 27, 78371 Olomouc (Czech Republic)
Pier Giorgio Terzuolo
Roberto Sindaco
Istituto per le Piante da Legno e l’Ambiente (IPLA SpA), C.so Casale 476, 10132 Torino (Italy)
Anna Carpanelli
Regione Autonoma Friuli Venezia Giulia, Servizio tutela del paesaggio e biodiversità, v. Sabbadini 31, I-33100 Udine (Italy)

Corresponding author

Paola Mairota


Mairota P, Buckley P, Suchomel C, Heinsoo K, Verheyen K, Hédl R, Terzuolo PG, Sindaco R, Carpanelli A (2016). Integrating conservation objectives into forest management: coppice management and forest habitats in Natura 2000 sites. iForest 9: 560-568. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1867-009

Academic Editor

Tomas Vrska

Paper history

Received: Sep 08, 2015
Accepted: Mar 21, 2016

First online: May 12, 2016
Publication Date: Aug 09, 2016
Publication Time: 1.73 months

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