ABSTRACT

Forest ecosystems are of major importance for recreation and tourism and attract millions of visitors every day, particularly in the mid-latitudes. Global environmental change will affect forest ecosystems through land-use changes, changing temperatures and precipitation patterns, increasing CO2 concentrations, and nitrogen deposition (Sala et al. 2000). This might, in the medium-term future, have consequences for tourism and recreation. Forests, in particular in the tropics, also host a majority of the world’s biodiversity (Myers et al. 2000), with many individual species being of great importance for tourism. As biodiversity is under serious stress through global climate change (e.g. Thomas et al. 2004), loss of species might also affect forest tourism. The chapter provides an assessment of global environmental change affecting forest ecosystems and outlines the consequences for tourism and recreation.