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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Interpreting wind damage risk-how multifunctional forest management impacts standing timber at risk of wind felling

Potterf, Maria; Eyvindson, Kyle; Blattert, Clemens; Burgas, Daniel; Burner, Ryan; Stephan, Jorg G.; Monkkonen, Mikko


Landscape multifunctionality, a widely accepted challenge for boreal forests, aims to simultaneously provide timber, non-timber ecosystem services, and shelter for biodiversity. However, multifunctionality requires the use of novel forest management regimes optimally combined over the landscape, and an increased share of sets asides. It remains unclear how this combination will shape stand vulnerability to wind disturbances and exposed timber volume. We combined forest growth simulations and multi-objective optimization to create alternative landscape level forest management scenarios. Management choices were restricted to 1) rotation forestry, 2) continuous cover forestry, and 3) all regimes allowed over a harvest intensity gradient from completely set aside landscapes to maximal economic gain. Estimates for the stands' structural and environmental characteristics were used to predict the stand level wind damage probability. We evaluated averaged wind-exposed standing timber volume and changing forest structure under management scenarios. Intensive rotation forestry reduced tree heights and wind damage risk, but also reduced landscape multifunctionality. Conversely, continuous cover forestry maintained multifunctionality but increased wind damage probability due to taller trees and higher thinning frequency. Overall, continuous cover forestry lowers the total volume of wind exposed timber at any given time compared with rotation forestry. Nevertheless, a selective application of rotation forestry contributes to high economic gains and increases landscape heterogeneity. A combination of management approaches across landscapes provides an efficient way to reduce the amount of wind-exposed timber volume while also increasing habitat for vertebrate and non-vertebrate species and satisfying high timber demands.


Set aside; Biodiversity; Bioeconomy; Optimization; Boreal forests; Wind disturbance

Published in

European Journal of Forest Research
2022, volume: 141, number: 2, pages: 347-361
Publisher: SPRINGER

Authors' information

Potterf, Maria
Technical University of Munich
Potterf, Maria
University of Jyvaskyla
Eyvindson, Kyle
Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Eyvindson, Kyle
Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)
Eyvindson, Kyle
University of Jyvaskyla
Blattert, Clemens
University of Jyvaskyla
Burgas, Daniel
University of Jyvaskyla
Burner, Ryan
Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Swedish Species Information Centre
Mönkkönen, Mikko
No organisation

UKÄ Subject classification

Forest Science

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