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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

Replacing monocultures with mixed-species stands: Ecosystem service implications of two production forest alternatives in Sweden

Felton, Adam; Nilsson, Urban; Sonesson, Johan; Felton, Annika; Roberge, Jean-Michel; Ranius, Thomas; Ahlström, Martin; Bergh, Johan; Björkman, Christer; Boberg, Johanna; Drössler, Lars; Fahlvik, Nils; Gong, Peichen; Holmström, Emma; Keskitalo, Carina; Klapwijk, Maartje; Laudon, Hjalmar; Lundmark, Tomas; Niklasson, Mats; Nordin, Annika;
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Abstract

Whereas there is evidence that mixed-species approaches to production forestry in general can provide positive outcomes relative to monocultures, it is less clear to what extent multiple benefits can be derived from specific mixed-species alternatives. To provide such insights requires evaluations of an encompassing suite of ecosystem services, biodiversity, and forest management considerations provided by specific mixtures and monocultures within a region. Here, we conduct such an assessment in Sweden by contrasting even-aged Norway spruce (Picea abies)-dominated stands, with mixed-species stands of spruce and birch (Betula pendula or B. pubescens), or spruce and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris). By synthesizing the available evidence, we identify positive outcomes from mixtures including increased biodiversity, water quality, esthetic and recreational values, as well as reduced stand vulnerability to pest and pathogen damage. However, some uncertainties and risks were projected to increase, highlighting the importance of conducting comprehensive interdisciplinary evaluations when assessing the pros and cons of mixtures.

Keywords

Climate change adaptation; Ecosystem services; Forestry; Mixed-forest stand; Polyculture; Resilience

Published in

AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
2016, volume: 45, number: Suppl 2, pages: S124-S139

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
Sonesson, Johan
Forestry Research Institute of Sweden, Skogforsk
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Unit for Field-based Forest Research
Bergh, Johan
Linnaeus University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Mycology and Pathology
Drössler, Lars
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
Fahlvik, Nils
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Economics
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
Umeå University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Ecology and Management
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Ecology and Management
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
Nordens ark
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Associated SLU-program

SLU Future Forests
SLU Network Plant Protection

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG15 Life on land
SDG13 Climate action

UKÄ Subject classification

Ecology
Forest Science

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-015-0749-2

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/80164