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

  • 18% of the forest is located inside Natura 2000 sites.
  • 0.8% of the 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 coastal habitats.

 

0.2% of the protected habitats (Annex 1) are forests.
The forest habitats that are protected are:

  • Old sessile oak woods with Ilex and Blechnum in the British Isles
  • Bog woodland
  • Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior (Alno-Padion, Alnion incanae, Salicion albae)
  • Taxus baccata woods of the British Isles

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 habitats are mostly assessed as unfavourable-bad.

 

Trends in conservation status of forest in 2018 (%)

 

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

  • 1 forest tree species is classified threatened according to the IUCN Red list categories.
  • According to the IUCN Red list categories 16 species are classified as vulnerable and 4 species are classified as endangered spread over the species groups birds, other invertebrates, vascular plants and cryptograms and fungi.

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

Tree species diversity in 2015

Around 45% of forests are composed by two or three 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 lower than the average of Europe's forest. The volume of lying deadwood is higher than Europe's average.