Conservation of Biodiversity in Managed Forests: Developing an Adaptive Decision Support System
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Forest ecosystems provide several goods and services, but strategies for the conservation of biodiversity are missing in traditional forest management schemes. In this paper we develope a decision support system to optimize the conservation of biodiversity in managed forests, taking Dadia National Park as a case study area, a local Mediterranean hotspot of biodiversity in northeastern Greece. Using environmental niche factor analysis, we produced a series of spatially explicit habitat suitability models for vascular plants, amphibians, small birds and raptors and an overall model for total biodiversity. Further, we produced maps related to timber production and investigated potential conflicts between conservation of biodiversity and wood production. A decision support system based on a conflict assessment was created using three management scenarios. It enables the establishment of integrated management strategies and the assessment of their effects on biodiversity and timber production. Habitat suitability models for selected groups of organisms were found very effective to investigate the impact of the management on forests and wildlife. Further evaluation of key indicator taxa on these models could improve decision support systems and the sustainable management of forests.