Continental mapping of forest ecosystem functions reveals a high but unrealised potential for forest multifunctionality.

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


  • Fons van der Plas
  • Sophia Ratcliffe
  • Paloma Ruiz-Benito
  • Michael Scherer-Lorenzen
  • Kris Verheyen
  • Christian Wirth
  • Miguel Angel de Zavala
  • Evy Ampoorter
  • Lander Baeten
  • Luc Barbaro
  • Cristina C Bastias
  • Jürgen Bauhus
  • Raquel Benavides
  • Adam Benneter
  • Damien Bonal
  • Olivier Bouriaud
  • Helge Bruelheide
  • Filippo Bussotti
  • Monique Carnol
  • Bastien Castagneyrol
  • Yohan Charbonnier
  • Johannes H C Cornelissen
  • Jonas Dahlgren
  • Ewa Checko
  • Andrea Coppi
  • Seid Muhie Dawud
  • Marc Deconchat
  • Philippe De Smedt
  • H. de Wandeler
  • Timo Domisch
  • Leena Finér
  • Mariangela Fotelli
  • Arthur Gessler
  • André Granier
  • Charlotte Grossiord
  • Virginie Guyot
  • Johannes Haase
  • Stephan Hättenschwiler
  • Hervé Jactel
  • Bogdan Jaroszewicz
  • Francois-Xavier Joly
  • Tommaso Jucker
  • Stephan Kambach
  • Gerald Kaendler
  • Jens Kattge
  • Julia Koricheva
  • Georges Kunstler
  • Aleksi Lehtonen
  • Mario Liebergesell
  • Pete Manning
  • Harriet Milligan
  • Sandra Müller
  • Bart Muys
  • Diem Nguyen
  • Charles Nock
  • Alain Paquette
  • Josep Penuelas
  • Martina Pollastrini
  • Kalliopu Radoglou
  • Karsten Raulund-Rasmussen
  • Fabian Roger
  • Rupert Seidl
  • Federico Selvi
  • Jan Stenlid
  • Fernando Valladares
  • Jan van Keer
  • Lars Vesterdal
  • Markus Fischer
  • Lars Gamfeldt
  • Eric Allan
Humans require multiple services from ecosystems, but it is largely unknown whether trade-offs between ecosystem functions prevent the realisation of high ecosystem multifunctionality across spatial scales. Here, we combined a comprehensive dataset (28 ecosystem functions measured on 209 forest plots) with a forest inventory dataset (105,316 plots) to extrapolate and map relationships between various ecosystem multifunctionality measures across Europe. These multifunctionality measures reflected different management objectives, related to timber production, climate regulation and biodiversity conservation/recreation. We found that trade-offs among them were rare across Europe, at both local and continental scales. This suggests a high potential for 'win-win' forest management strategies, where overall multifunctionality is maximised. However, across sites, multifunctionality was on average 45.8-49.8% below maximum levels and not necessarily highest in protected areas. Therefore, using one of the most comprehensive assessments so far, our study suggests a high but largely unrealised potential for management to promote multifunctional forests.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEcology Letters
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)31-42
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 01.2018

    Research areas

  • Ecosystems Research - biodiversity, FunDivEUROPE, climate, ecosystem multifunctionality, ecosystem services, forest, large-scale, phylogenetic diversity, tree communities, upscaling