SCA's forests are home to a variety of flora and fauna, and will continue to be so. In 2020, we initiated a work to make our nature conservation measures even more effective. Our aim is to improve the habitats that are important for species that are disadvantaged by forestry. This will help us achieve even greater precision in our work with biodiversity.
Of the great diversity of flora and fauna species, we have identified 203 red-listed species that are found on our land holdings and are negatively affected by various forestry measures. These species include certain fungi, mosses, lichens, insects and birds. In order to identify these species, we did an in-depth analysis of the Swedish Red List in 2020. Specific efforts to preserve and develop supporting habitats should be made in order to meet the requirements of the species.
As a large forest owner in Norrland, SCA has a special responsibility for these species and we therefore call them our Species Commitment. Together with other players in forestry and with society at large, we want to ensure that their environments exist to such an extent that the species will be able to remain in the forest landscape of the future.
Develop and preserve habitats
In our analysis, we have also identified and described 12 key habitats categories, linking to requirements of each of the 203 redlisted species. Many of the species cope relatively well with the environments that are created when we practice forestry with everyday considerations. Several of our responsible species, on the other hand, have more specific requirements for their habitat and may need different types of active, targeted measures.
Examples of habitats that we have identified
Older spruce-dominated coniferous natural forest with dead wood in various stages of decomposition.
Forest with predominantly deciduous species and presence of dead wood
Coniferous forest with long-term continuity of dead wood
Forest on humid or wet soils, often adjacent to streams and lakes
Light pine forest with continuity of dead wood
Forest recently impacted by fire
We have analyzed how much of these habitats exist within our land holdings, and that we know about. We work partly on preserving and developing, partly on creating new habitats. Saving bright older pine forests, creating sunny gaps in special forest areas and doing prescribed forest burns are some examples.
In total 400,000 hectares of the various habitats were confirmed within set-aside areas identified at the landscape level and on low-productive land with no forestry as well as within some of the consideration areas that we save during our fellings.
In our document "Delivering biodiversity conservation - a SCA initiative" you can read more about this program and our work and also see the list of our species.
The Swedish Red List is a list of species that can be found in Sweden, and it contains an assessment of the risk that they could become extinct in the country. The list is compiled and maintained by the Swedish Species Information Centre at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. The species in the Red List are divided into categories on the basis of their vulnerability. The latest Red List was published in 2020.
The list contains 21,740 assessed species, of which 2,249 are classified as threatened. Around 200 of these species can be found in our forests and are disadvantaged by forest management activities. These include fungi, mosses, lichens, insects and birds. You can read more about Red Listing and the Swedish Red List at www.artdatabanken.se/en/
Habitat that promotes the black woodpecker and many others
Here we present three examples of protected species and the habitats they depend on.
Mature coniferous forests where living trees and/or plenty of deadwood have always existed.
The black woodpecker (Dryocopus martius) is Sweden’s largest woodpecker and lives in coniferous or mixed forests, preferably with some sunlight and plenty of old trees and deadwood. It generally chooses a tall and thick aspen for its nest tree, but a pine is also common. It can make its nest hole in living trees, which not all woodpeckers can do.
Old nests are used by birds and bats, for example. The black woodpecker is therefore considered a keystone species. To promote the black woodpecker, we need to ensure there are mature forests in the landscape, and thick pine and aspen that can serve as nest trees in managed forests.
Habitat that promotes the Calypso orchid and many others
Coniferous or deciduous forest with nutrient-rich soil, where living trees have always existed.
Diamond Willow Fungus
The Calypso orchid (Calypso bulbosa) grows in slightly moist, herbaceous and mossy coniferous forests in calcareous soil. The Calypso orchid is susceptible to even slight disturbances in its environment and requires preferably completely untouched forest. We promote it by excluding mature forests from timber production (voluntary set-asides), and by leaving consideration patches when harvesting. The Calypso orchid is difficult to find, especially when the flower is not present. Known locations are always protected.
Habitat that promotes the diamond willow fungus and many others
Forests with an abundance of deciduous trees, or broad-leaved forests with both living and dead trees.
Diamond Willow Fungus
The Diamond Willow Fungus (Haploporus odorus) is a fungus that spreads a strikingly strong smell of anise in damp weather. It grows almost exclusively on living willows that been allowed to grow tall. By saving valuable forests with an abundance of old willows, retaining all willows when harvesting and thinning, and protecting young willows when clearing, we can ensure that habitats for the Diamond Willow Fungus are retained in the landscape.