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Doctoral thesis2017Open access

Development and evaluation of forest management scenarios : long-term analysis at the landscape level

Eggers, Jeannette


Managing forests sustainably is an intricate task, as forests are dynamic, complex, and long-lived ecosystems. At the same time, demands on forests are increasing and diversifying. To deal with these challenges, forest decision support systems have been developed that allow one to project the development of forests and the ecosystem services they can provide in the future. This thesis develops and evaluates long-term forest scenarios for two landscapes in Sweden by considering economic, ecological, and social aspects of sustainable forest management. One aspect considered in the scenario analysis is how forest ownership structure influences forest management. When examining factors that influence forest owners’ management decisions property size was found to be more influential than other factors such as gender or residence of the forest owner. Based on these results, two methods to account for a diverse forest ownership structure in long-term forest scenarios were developed. It was shown that forest owners’ management behaviour can have considerable effects on the provision of ecosystem services, suggesting that accounting for the diversity in forest owners’ management behaviour deserves more attention in future projections of the development of forests and the resulting ecosystem services. In addition, this thesis evaluated different management options based on expert participation in a multi-criteria decision analysis framework. Results indicate that several management scenarios would be better suited to balance multiple forest values than a continuation of current practices. Finally, this thesis tests a method that assesses the trade-off between wood production and recreational values to identify areas where adapted management should be prioritized. The results show that substantial increases in the recreational value of a forest landscape can be achieved with a moderate overall reduction of timber production revenues. In conclusion, the papers included in this thesis clearly demonstrate that long-term landscape level scenarios can be useful tools for illustrating trade-offs between different ecosystem services, for evaluating different management practices, and for assessing potential future developments, providing valuable input for forest governance and decision making at different levels.


ecosystem services, landscape, long-term planning, forest decision support system, forest owner behaviour, management strategies, scenario analysis, trade-offs

Published in

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
2017, number: 2017:51ISBN: 978-91-576-8875-0, eISBN: 978-91-576-8876-7
Publisher: Department of Forest Resource Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences