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Doctoral thesis, 2013

Spatial problems in long-term forest planning

Korosuo, Anu;


In modern forest planning, it is important to account for the value of timber production and for other values of the forest. Important factors such as the protection of biodiversity, recreational use and traditional uses of forests are often connected to specific places in forests, or to the spatial structure of the forests. Moreover, the worth of these factors is often difficult to express in objective terms because they are usually valued based on individual preferences or subjective evaluations of complex situations. The objective of this thesis is to analyze specific issues relating to spatial preferences and test approaches that can be used to value them more accurately in forest planning processes. The individual studies appended to this thesis approach spatial preferences from different perspectives. Paper I identifies some difficulties associated with the consideration of spatial preferences in forest planning processes. Paper II describes the development and testing of a method for eliciting spatial preferences. Papers III and IV concentrate on the design and evaluation of forest plans that account for spatial considerations. In Paper III, different fragmentation indices were used to simulate changes in the distribution of different stand types within a forested region over time. Paper IV uses existing information on the requirements of reindeer husbandry concerning forest management practices to evaluate the consequences of adopting different forest management regimes for reindeer husbandry. The results highlight the importance of being careful when eliciting preferences. Particularly when dealing with spatial preferences, where it can be difficult to accurately represent objectives in numerical terms, oversimplification and misinterpretation of preferences can result in the production of plans with undesirable outcomes. The case studies examined in this thesis provide insights to the tradeoffs that must be made between different objectives. The results presented herein should be useful in increasing the efficiency of the planning process in order to ensure that the selected plans match the decision maker's preferences as closely as possible.


fragmentation; multi-objective forestry; place-specific values; preference elicitation; reindeer husbandry; spatial forest planning; value functions

Published in

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae

2013, number: 2013:32
ISBN: 978-91-576-7802-7, eISBN: 978-91-576-7803-4
Publisher: Department of Forest Resource Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Authors' information

Korosuo, Anu
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Resource Management

UKÄ Subject classification

Forest Science

URI (permanent link to this page)