Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2020Peer reviewedOpen access

How Well Do Stakeholder-Defined Forest Management Scenarios Balance Economic and Ecological Forest Values?

Eggers, Jeannette; Raty, Minna; Ohman, Karin; Snall, Tord


Research Highlights: We show the difference in the long-term effects on economic and ecological forest values between four forest management scenarios of a large representative forest landscape. The scenarios were largely formulated by stakeholders representing the main views on how to manage north-European forests. Background and Objectives: Views on how to balance forest management between wood production and biodiversity differ widely between different stakeholder groups. We aim to show the long-term consequences of stakeholder-defined management scenarios, in terms of ecological and economic forest values. Materials and Methods: We simulated management scenarios for a forest landscape in Sweden, based on the management objectives and strategies of key stakeholders. We specifically investigated the difference in economic forest values coupled to wood supply and ecological indicators coupled to structural biodiversity between the scenarios over a 100-year period. The indicators were net present value, harvest, growing stock and increment, along with deadwood volume, the density of large trees, area of old forests and mature broadleaf-rich forests. Results: We show that the scenarios have widely different outcomes in terms of the studied indicators, and that differences in indicator outcome were largely due to different distributions in management regimes, i.e., the proportion of forest left unmanaged or under even-aged management or continuous cover forest, as well as specific retention practices. Retention and continuous cover forestry mitigate the negative effects that clear-cut forestry has upon biodiversity. Conclusions: We found that an increase in the forest area under the continuous cover forestry regime could be a cost-efficient way to increase structural diversity in managed boreal forests. On the other hand, no single management regime performed best with respect to all indicators, which means that a mixture of several management regimes is needed to balance conflicting objectives. We also show that the trade-off between economic and ecological indicators was not directly proportional, meaning that an increase in structural biodiversity may be obtained at a proportionally low cost with appropriate management planning.


scenario analysis; stakeholder participation; forest management; boreal forest; forest decision support system

Published in

2020, Volume: 11, number: 1, article number: 86
Publisher: MDPI