Bio- ja ympäristötieteiden laitos

Boreal Ecosystems Research Group

Boreal Ecosystems Research Group (BERG) is a multidisciplinary research team with broad research interests. We aim to understand how to reconcile biodiversity conservation with increasing demands of natural resources in boreal landscapes under intensive management. We try to identify the ecological, economic and functional values of the landscape, which should be taken into account in planning and decision-making.


See our publication highlights here.

Group members

PI, team leader


Mikko Mönkkönen

My main research interests include community ecology, conservation and management of boreal biodiversity forest for maintaining biodiversity and providing ecosystem services. Major focus is also on cost-efficiency of conservation practices (i.e. ecological economics). Because of my background in bird community and behavioural ecology my second focus is on species interactions and among-species information use. These studies also have applied aspects in conservation and management of animal populations and communities at multiple spatial scales.

Postdoctoral researchers

Eric 2

Eric Le Tortorec

My academic interests lie in the fields of landscape ecology, conservation biology and forest management. The current focus of my research is on studying conflicts between the provisioning of ecosystem services and the retention of biodiversity in managed boreal forests. Specifically, I am working in a project that aims to minimise the conflict between timber production and ecosystem services such the provisioning of collectables, regulating services and recreational values, as well as forest biodiversity. In my PhD thesis I studied the impact of habitat fragmentation on the reproductive success of Eurasian treecreepers (Certhia familiaris) in Central Finland. Other topics that interest me are GIS, remote sensing and programming with Python and R.


María Triviño

My research interests include a wide range of topics related to conservation biology and biogeography. During my PhD thesis I investigated the impacts of global change on the distribution of birds in the Iberian Peninsula. I joined Mikko Mönkkönen’s group in 2012 and I have been studying how forest management in boreal production forests affect the provision of ecosystems services such as climate regulation (through carbon storage/sequestration) or collectable goods (mushrooms and wild berries) as well the conservation of biodiversity.


Daniel Burgas

Conservation Biology and applied ecology resonate in my research. I completed a PhD in ecology at the University of Helsinki in 2014 in which I investigated how raptors affect biodiversity and their role as indicators of forest conservation value. I joined Mikko Mönkkönen’s group in 2015. Currently I focus on implications of forest management for nature conservation with special emphasis on continuous cover forestry. My background has a strong bird component, but I am moved by biodiversity at large. Community ecology and effective wildlife monitoring are other topics that draw me in


Kyle Eyvindson

My focus of research is in the applied field of forest management and can be scaled up to the perspective of forest landscapes. I am interested in developing management plans which directly relate to the stakeholder(s) preferences, and I am also interested in how we can incorporate risk management tools into the planning process. With this group of researchers, my aim is to link the models of ecosystem services and other criteria of interest to the development of long term management plans.

Anna Repo

My main research interests include the multifunctionality of forests, climate and policies, and forest carbon dynamics together with ecological and carbon offset mechanisms.  My research links policy-making and environmental modeling by providing  quantitative estimates of the impacts of alternative decisions. In my doctoral dissertation I investigated land-use related emission of forest bioenergy and cost-efficient means to reduce these emissions with changes in forest management. Currently, I am developing new, sustainable forest management practices that can pave the way for energy transition, climate change mitigation and adaptation, without compromising ecosystem services or the implementation of biodiversity targets.

PhD students


Matti Häkkilä

My research covers conservation ecology of communities at local and macroecological scales. I am mainly interested in the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on bird communities in boreal forests both in Finland and North America. Also the ability of current protected areas network to maintain biodiversity is one of my subjects. My supervisors are Prof. Mikko Mönkkönen from University of Jyväskylä, Prof. Gerald J. Niemi from University of Minnesota Duluth and Eric Le Tortorec from University of Jyväskylä.


Tähti Pohjanmies

In my research I aim to identify forest management strategies that promote both biodiversity conservation and the provision of ecosystem services. I explore how stand-level management operations may impact the capacity of the landscape to provide ecosystem services, potentially creating synergies or trade-offs among different services and different measures of biodiversity. The research is based on simulations of alternative management strategies in a boreal forest landscape. My supervisors are Prof. Mikko Mönkkönen and Maria Triviño.


Maiju Peura

In my PhD project, I study possibilities of continuous cover forestry to maintain biodiversity and ecosystem services in boreal forest landscapes. I will explore how continuous cover forestry affects different indices of biodiversity and ecosystem services compared to current recommended forest management. In addition, a cost-efficient approach is used and I study how timber revenues could be maximized with minimal costs for biodiversity by applying continuous cover forestry. My supervisors are Prof. Mikko Mönkkönen, Prof. Janne Kotiaho and Daniel Burgas.


Former members

Postdoctoral researchers

Tero Heinonen

I have studied multi-objective forest management planning methods and spatial optimization at the landscape level since 2003. Sustainable use of forest recources has a high priority in my research, covering economic, social and also ecological goals. Optimization methods used and developed havemainly been heuristics. The development of co-called decentralized optimization methods and the research over dynamic treatment units have been my favourite topics alongside the development of decision support systems. I like to code, but I don't like bugs.


Adriano Mazziotta

My PhD project was mainly focused on the effects of climate change and forest management on the biodiversity of boreal forest. I employ an ecosystem model simulating the dynamics of forest stands to answer different questions: how dead wood dynamics will change under alternative climate/management scenarios? In what way conservation actions should be allocated in the landscape for biodiversity conservation under climate change? Is it possible to predict the future biodiversity hotspots under climate change? My studies are also dealing with defining optimal joint production of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the boreal forest.


Dmitry Podkopaev

My main theoretical research area is Multiple-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM), in particular Multi-objective Optimization, discrete / combinatorial algorithms, preference modeling. My applied research relate to introducing MCDM methods into environmental studies, industry, management and public policy making.

Pasi Reunanen


Jean-Michel Roberge

PhD students


Merja Elo

I’m broadly interested in the topics related to macroecology and conservation biology, my main focus being the mechanistic basis of species diversity patterns, and how anthropogenic disturbance may disrupt them. My PhD Thesis dealt with large scale determinants (area, energy, habitat heterogeneity) of species richness of birds, vascular plants and Odonata, and currently I’m concentrating on bryophyte and vascular plant community similarities in drained versus pristine mires.

PhD thesis: Perspectives on variation in species richness: area, energy and habitat heterogeneity

Eija Hurme

PhD thesis: Ecological knowledge towards sustainable forest management: habitat requirements of the Siberian flying squirrel in Finland

Anne Laita

Anne Laita

PhD thesis: Conservation in space

Petri Lampila

PhD thesis: Populations and communities in human modified forest landscapes


Jonna Timonen

PhD thesis: Woodland key habitats : a key to effective conservation of forest biodiversity?

MSc students


Emmi Nguyen ‎

My main interests are forest ecology, forest management and conservation biology. In my Master’s Thesis I study ecosystem services in boreal forests.



Main collaborators

Artti Juutinen

Olli-Pekka Tikkanen

University of Joensuu

Kaisa Miettinen

IT Faculty, University of Jyväskylä:

Mikko Kurttila

Lena Gustafsson

SLU (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences), Uppsala