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collopa Thank you for your effort to define a High Nature Value of European forests as part of the study on forest naturalness, but as almost all forests in Europe are no longer primary or even secondary forests - how can we define indicators valid across Europe while only ~ 4% of the European forests can be considered as natural?
The purpose of the HNV concept seems to be designed "to better safeguard natural and semi-natural areas supporting great diversity of species and habitats". Yet most European forests are replanted ones by mankind, so what could we measure in terms of indication of naturalness (1st what do we understand by "naturalness")?
As I understand the report the focus seems to be more on forestry activities in Europe, which can also have negative impacts on biodiversity as unsustainable forest operations can lead to forest degradation and loss of biodiversity. The HNV indicator is defined by IEEP as an HNV for farmland process, to also target: "all natural forests and those semi-natural forests in Europe, where the management (historical or present) supports a high diversity of native species and habitats."
That means 4% (at best) as natural forests, thus an inventory of the biodiversity of those forests should be done to base the HNV criteria upon. The report assimilates also semi-natural forests (still to be clearly defined) as included. The report also states:" If only one or a limited number of indicators are used, erroneous conclusions may be drawn". Yet the assessment of HNV is based on 5 indicators: "naturalness (still to be defined); the degree of human influence on the ecosystem; accessibility (expressed by the steepness of terrain and thus how accessible the forest is for management); growing stock (the volume of living trees); connectivity (forest availability and distance between patches of forests i.e. the extent to which the landscape facilitates or impedes the movement of species)."

The criteria include: "rare or threatened species, endemic species"; what is the definition in this context of endemic species for forest semi-natural? How can we be sure that the species have not been imported with planted trees 4/5 centuries ago and as then have disappeared in the rest of Europe?
Thank you in advance for clarifying these points for me.
 

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