Old growth and dead wood as key factors for nature conservation in managed forests. Basics and practice.

Published online
28 Mar 2019
Content type
Bulletin article

Schaich, H. & Kaphegyi, T. A. M. & Lühl, R. & Schmalfuss, N. & Rupp, M. & Waldenspuhl, T. & Konold, W.

Publication language
Baden-Wurttemberg & Europe & Germany


This chapter aims to enhance knowledge on basic interactions between old growth features, dead wood, forest management, and forest biodiversity as well as to explore practical approaches to foster such habitat resources in managed forest ecosystems. Taking the regional perspective of southwestern Germany (federal state of Baden-Württemberg), the chapter presents: basic attributes by which to classify old growth and dead wood features in forest ecosystems; outlines the actual status of regional old growth and dead wood resources in Baden-Württemberg in relation to spatial and institutional aspects; highlights the role of traditional forest uses such as woodland pasturing for the conservation of old growth features; analyses the importance of habitat trees for biodiversity and especially hollow-nesting birds; and introduces an operational strategy to foster the quantity and quality of habitat trees and dead wood in managed state-owned forests. In a brief synthesis, practical and policy recommendations are derived on how to foster old growth and dead wood features in complex, human-shaped forest landscapes and how to synchronize this important issue with other goals of ecosystem services provisioning in European forests.

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