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Report, 1998

Quantifying the area of edge zones in Swedish forest to assess the impact of nature conservation on timber yields

Lind, Torgny


The new Swedish Forestry Act states that the forests should be sustainably managed in a profitable way and, at the same time, the current levels of biodiversity should be maintained. This and the pressure from consumers for forest products to be produced in a way that protects biodiversity have changed forestry towards a more nature oriented management. An estimation of the effects of this nature conservation on timber yields and potential cut must be included in forest scenario modelling to assess the long term impacts. An important component of preserving biodiversity in forests in this nature oriented management is to adjust management measures in edge zones adjacent to mires, riparian zones, non-productive hills, etc. Examples of management measures in edge zones are no cutting, modified thinning, single tree selection or leaving behind large trees. These spatial considerations can now be dealt with in long-term forecasts using HUGIN, a system based on sample plot data from the Swedish National Forest Inventory (NFI). This is because of the improved description of the context of the NFI sample plots in the landscape. Furthermore, geographical positions are determined using the Global Positioning System (GPS), which facilitates the combination of NFI data with other data sources. A schedule of how to select sample plots located in forest habitats that are valuable for biodiversity is shown. Analyses of the new NFI data show that approximately 11 % of the productive forest land is located within 25 meters of mires and non-productive hills and 3 % is located in riparian zones. Forest scenario modelling using the HUGIN system will now be able to estimate the reductions in the long-term potential cut due to nature conservation in edge zones.


forest resources; forest land; biodiversity; nature conservation; sustainability; global positioning systems; timber trees

Published in

Arbetsrapport / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för skoglig resurshushållning
Publisher: Institutionen för skoglig resurshushållning, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet