Effective management of biodiversity in production landscapes requires a conservation approach that acknowledges the complexity of ecological and cultural systems in time and space. Fennoscandia has experienced major loss of forest biodiversity caused by intensive forestry. Therefore, the Countdown 2010 initiative to halt the loss of biodiversity in Europe is highly relevant to forest management in this part of the continent. As a contribution to meeting the challenge posed by Countdown 2010, we developed a spatially explicit conservation-planning exercise that used regional knowledge on forest biodiversity to provide support for managers attempting to halt further loss of biological diversity in the region. We used current data on the distribution of 169 species (including 68 red-listed species) representing different forest habitats and ecologies along with forest data within the frame of modern conservation software to devise a map of priority areas for conservation. The top 10% of priority areas contained over 75% of red-listed species locations and 41% of existing protected forest areas, but only 58% of these top priorities overlapped with core areas identified previously in a regional strategy that used more qualitative methods. We argue for aggregating present and future habitat value of single management units to landscape and regional scales to identify potential bottlenecks in habitat availability linked to landscape dynamics. To address the challenge of Countdown 2010, a general framework for forest conservation planning in Fennoscandia needs to cover different conservation issues, tools, and data needs.
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