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EEA Releases Fifth Message for 2010

9 April 2010: To celebrate the International Year of Biodiversity, the European Environment Agency (EEA) has released the fifth of its 10 messages for 2010, which focuses on forest ecosystems.

The message notes that forests face a variety of threats, including unsustainable management practices, air pollution, climate change, and fragmentation due to rapidly spreading urban areas and transport networks. The message also notes that: old-growth natural and semi-natural forests are particularly valuable for biodiversity and carbon storage; climate change is first expected to affect the range of tree species, with greatest impacts on those situated at latitudinal and altitudinal extremes; increased periods of drought and warmer winters are likely to weaken forests further against invasive species; genetic variety in regionally adapted forests is essential for adapting to climate change; and forest ownership structures and the importance of forestry to national economies can significantly influence forest ecosystem management targets, thereby affecting biodiversity. [The Message]