What is a primary forest ?
- It’s a forest untouched by men since at least 200 years
- It’s characterized by a big volume of dead wood (at least 20%) and of really old trees, which sometimes have gigantic dimensions
- It’s a site of an exceptional range of biodiversity:
- Primary forests conserve 10 000 years of continuous biological history (since the last glacial age)
– large European mammals (wolves, bears , lynx)
– hundreds of different types of birds, including some emblematic ones, such as the black stork and the western capercaillie, and thousands of insects specific to dead trees
– rare flora, many species of which are endemic to the region
By way of comparison a regular forest elsewhere in Europe will provide a home for 100 species whereas a primary forest has ten times the biodiversity with 10 000 !