Ecosystem services of temperate rainforests in the western US

Project: Research

Project participants


Temperate rainforests are both unique and enigmatic ecosystems, yet are nowadays restricted to small remnants. These relics are endangered by direct human pressure and climate change. However since remaining intact primary old growth forests are restricted to small spread fragments northward shifts are widely blocked by areas dominated by agriculture, artificial forests, urban areas. etc. Thus only a fraction of undisturbed forests remains, which are key areas for conservation of temperate rainforests. In addition provide these forests several ecosystem services, which are often restricted to this ecosystem within the western United States. Accessing spatial information on ecosystem services and matching these with current conservation schemes and future distribution of temperate rainforests has not been undertaken to date.
We hypothesize that 1) primary forest have the highest value regarding the ecosystem services compared to all other forests and ecosystems found in the region, and 2) future distribution of intact primary old growth forest will lead to severe losses of selected ecosystem services found in the region.
We aim to contribute with our research not only to regional conservation and development schemes, but also want to add vital knowledge on current research on ecosystem service and shift and fragmentation of primary ecosystems.