SPONFOREST - Unravelling the potential of spontaneousforest establishment for improving ecosystem functions and services in dynamic landscapes
The EU Biodiversity Strategy 2020 aims to establish green infrastructures and to restore at least 15% of degraded ecosystems until 2020. Forests play a key role to reach these aims. While European policy strongly supports the afforestation of former farmlands, it has to date largely neglected opportunities for passive landscape restoration. Spontaneous forest establishment is occurring in many parts of Europe following the widespread abandonment of agricultural land use.