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

  • 34% of the forest is located inside Natura 2000 sites.
  • 37.4% 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.

 

39% of the protected habitats (Annex 1) are forests.
The forest habitats that are protected are:

  • Bog woodland.
  • 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).
  • Euro-Siberian steppic woods with Quercus spp.
  • Holy Cross fir forests (Abietetum polonicum).
  • Western Carpathian calcicolous Pinus sylvestris forests.
  • Central European lichen Scots pine forests.
  • Luzulo-Fagetum beech forests.
  • Asperulo-Fagetum beech forests.
  • Medio-European subalpine beech woods with Acer and Rumex arifolius.
  • Medio-European limestone beech forests of the Cephalanthero-Fagion.
  • Sub-Atlantic and medio-European oak or oak-hornbeam forests of the Carpinion betuli.
  • Galio-Carpinetum oak-hornbeam forests.
  • Tilio-Acerion forests of slopes, screes and ravines.
  • Old acidophilous oak woods with Quercus robur on sandy plains.
  • Acidophilous Picea forests of the montane to alpine levels (Vaccinio-Piceetea).
  • Alpine Larix decidua and/or Pinus cembra forests.

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, %

NO DATA REPORTED

 

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

  • 6 forest tree species are classified as threatened according to the IUCN Red list categories.
  • According to the IUCN Red list categories 37 species are classified as vulnerable, 45 species are classified as endangered and 42 species are classified as critically endangered spread over the species groups birds, mammals, other vertebrates and vascular plants.

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

Tree species diversity in 2015, %

 

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

Age structure in 2015, %

Forests are mostly uneven-aged forest stands.

 

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 lower than Europe's average.