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European primary forest database v2.0

Francesco Maria Sabatini 1, 2 Hendrik Bluhm 3 Zoltan Kun 4 Dmitry Aksenov 5 José Atauri 6 Erik Buchwald 7 Sabina Burrascano 8 Eugénie Cateau 9 Abdulla Diku 10 Inês Marques Duarte 11 Ángel Fernández López 12 Matteo Garbarino 13 Nikolaos Grigoriadis 14 Ferenc Horváth 15 Srđan Keren 16 Mara Kitenberga 17 Alen Kiš 18 Ann Kraut Pierre Ibisch Laurent Larrieu 19, 20 Fabio Lombardi 21 Bratislav Matovic 22 Radu Nicolae Melu 23 Peter Meyer 24 Rein Midteng Stjepan Mikac Martin Mikoláš Gintautas Mozgeris Momchil Panayotov Rok Pisek Leónia Nunes Alejandro Ruete Matthias Schickhofer Bojan Simovski Jonas Stillhard Dejan Stojanovic Jerzy Szwagrzyk Olli-Pekka Tikkanen Elvin Toromani Roman Volosyanchuk Tomáš Vrška Marcus Waldherr Maxim Yermokhin Tzvetan Zlatanov Asiya Zagidullina Tobias Kuemmerle
Abstract : Primary forests, defined here as forests where the signs of human impacts, if any, are strongly blurred due to decades without forest management, are scarce in Europe and continue to disappear. Despite these losses, we know little about where these forests occur. Here, we present a comprehensive geodatabase and map of Europe’s known primary forests. Our geodatabase harmonizes 48 different, mostly field-based datasets of primary forests, and contains 18,411 individual patches (41.1 Mha) spread across 33 countries. When available, we provide information on each patch (name, location, naturalness, extent and dominant tree species) and the surrounding landscape (biogeographical regions, protection status, potential natural vegetation, current forest extent). Using Landsat satellite-image time series (1985–2018) we checked each patch for possible disturbance events since primary forests were identified, resulting in 94% of patches free of significant disturbances in the last 30 years. Although knowledge gaps remain, ours is the most comprehensive dataset on primary forests in Europe, and will be useful for ecological studies, and conservation planning to safeguard these unique forests.
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Submitted on : Friday, September 10, 2021 - 10:48:17 AM
Last modification on : Saturday, September 11, 2021 - 3:44:05 AM

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Francesco Maria Sabatini, Hendrik Bluhm, Zoltan Kun, Dmitry Aksenov, José Atauri, et al.. European primary forest database v2.0. Scientific Data , Nature Publishing Group, 2021, 8 (1), ⟨10.1038/s41597-021-00988-7⟩. ⟨hal-03340378⟩

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