Forest and Natura 2000

Europe’s diverse forest ecosystems are vital for the conservation of the EU’s rich but increasingly threatened biodiversity. Forests make up about half of the Natura 2000 Network. In general, forests are in a better state of conservation compared to other key habitat groups like grasslands and wetlands.

AREA OF FOREST INSIDE NATURA 2000 SITES IN 2020

  • 40% of the forest is located inside Natura 2000 sites.
  • 42.7% of forest is protected for the conservation of biodiversity (MCPFE Classes 1 and 2).

AREA OF FOREST PROTECTED FOR CONSERVATION OF BIODIVERSITY (MCPFE 1 AND 2) IN 2020

Share of forest inside Natura 2000 in 2020

Click on the map area to get information on forest area (ha and %), and on the forest area inside and outside Natura 2000 (%).

Most forests are located outside Natura 2000 sites.

Forest inside and outside Natura 2000 sites in 2018, %

Most forests are located outside natura 2000 areas.

 

Types of protected habitat in 2018, %

Most of the protected habitats are forest habitats.

 

52% of the protected habitats (Annex 1) are forests.
The forest habitats that are protected are:

  • Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior (Alno-Padion, Alnion incanae, Salicion albae)
  • Riparian mixed forests of Quercus robur, Ulmus laevis and Ulmus minor, Fraxinus excelsior or Fraxinus angustifolia, along the great rivers (Ulmenion minoris)
  • Pannonic woods with Quercus petraea and Carpinus betulus
  • Pannonian woods with Quercus pubescens
  • Euro-Siberian steppic woods with Quercus spp.
  • Illyrian Fagus sylvatica forests (Aremonio-Fagion)
  • Illyrian oak-hornbeam forests (Erythronio-Carpinion)
  • Pannonian-Balkanic turkey oak-sessile oak forests
  • Pannonic inland sand dune thicket (Junipero-Populetum albae)
  • Luzulo-Fagetum beech forests
  • Asperulo-Fagetum beech forests
  • Medio-European limestone beech forests of the Cephalanthero-Fagion
  • Tilio-Acerion forests of slopes, screes and ravines

Sources:Extracted from Natura 2000 Barometer provided by European Environment Agency (EEA)Extracted from Land cover and change statistics 2000-2018 provided by European Environment Agency (EEA)Corine Land Cover (CLC) 2018 provided by European Environment Agency (EEA) and Copernicus Land Monitoring ServiceAdministrative Units/Statistical Units provided by GISCO Eurostat; © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries

Conservation status and trends of forest habitats

The conservation status of the protected forest habitats are assessed as “Good”, “Unfavourable-bad”, “Unfavourable-inadequate”, and “Unknown”.

The trend in the conservation status of forest species (population status) is assessed as "Improving", "Stable", "Deteriorating", or "Unknown".

The conservation status of forest species is reported every 6 years as requested by the Birds and Habitat Directives. Population status is assessed as improving, stable, deteriorating, or unknown.

Conservation status for the forest habitats in 2018, %

The conservation status of the protected forest habitats are mostly assessed as unfavourable-inadequate and unfavourable-bad.

 

Trends in conservation status of forest in 2018, %

 

Conservation status of forest habitats for each biogeographical region in 2018, %

 

Conservation status species

Conservation status of species, %

 

Conservation status per species group, %

 

Conservation status of species for each biogeographical and marine region, %

 

Trends in status of forest non-bird and bird species

The conservation status of forest species is reported every 6 years as requested by the Birds and Habitat Directives. Population status is assessed as improving, stable, deteriorating, or unknown.

BAR CHART UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Other biodiversity indicators

Species

  • 8 forest tree species are classified threatened according to the IUCN Red list categories.
  • According to the IUCN Red list categories 85 species are classified as vulnerable, 120 species are classified as endangered and 89 species are classified as critically endangered spread over the species groups birds, mammals and vascular plants.

Diverse forests in terms of species and structure are important for several ecosystem services.

Tree species diversity in 2015, %

Around 30% of forests are composed by 6 or more tree species.

 

Age structure is expressed as the share of even-aged and uneven aged forest area

Age structure in 2015, %

Forests are mostly even-aged stands in different phases.

 

The average deadwood in EU27 forests is 5.2 m3/ha for standing deadwood and 9.0 m3/ha for lying deadwood.

Average deadwood forest in 2015, m3/ha

The volume of standing deadwood (m3/ha) is higher than the average of Europe's forest. The volume of lying deadwood is lower than Europe's average.