Many forests locating in nature protection areas have been earlier used for commercial forestry and are therefore not in a natural state. Habitat restoration aims at speeding up the reversion of the structure and dynamics of habitats towards those typical of natural forests. Restoration is carried out principally in protected areas, and most restoration measures are accomplished only once.
Perhaps the most striking forest restoration method is prescribed fire, which creates disturbance regimes where natural succession dynamics prevails. Prescribed fire produces burnt and charred wood, which is critical for many endangered species.
Fire and Forest symposium, organized by Green Belt Life project, Forest Life project, Finnish Forest Research Institute and Finland’s Environmental Administration, brought together leading forest fire experts from Finland, Norway and Sweden to Kajaani in November 2007. The symposium focused on the use of prescribed fire as a management tool within protected areas of Fennoscandian forests. This publication compiles the presentations of the symposium and consists of both practical experiences and research results on restoration. The report gives a glimpse to the fire history of Fennoscandian forests, reveals differences in principles and practices of prescribed fires between countries, and discusses the current situation and future aims of restoration research.