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Research article2017Peer reviewed

Forest futures by Swedish students – developing a mind mapping method for data collection

Nummelin, Tuomas; Widmark, Camilla; Riala, Maria; Stens, Anna; Nordstrom, Eva-Maria; Nordin, Annika


Forests are an important natural resource in Sweden. They are used for multiple purposes, for example, providing economic returns from timber harvest, conservation of biodiversity, provision of wild berries and mushrooms and recreational benefits. People's perceptions of forests and forest use are currently under transformation due to drivers like globalization and urbanization. The aim of this study was to analyse in particular Swedish university student's visions of future forests using a newly developed survey method based on mind mapping. An online survey with mind map technique was used to collect data from university students in Umea, northern Sweden. The study focused on features of forests, products derived from forests and activities in forests. The results indicate that students regard ecological, social and economic aspects of forests as important for future forests and the use of them. In particular, the role of non-wood forest products, like berries and mushrooms, as well as recreational features of forests were central to many of the students. The multitude of different visions suggests that forest management decisions of today, directing the future of forests, need to consider the multiple use of forests to be able to satisfy forest preferences also of younger generations.


Forest management; forest activities; features of forest; forest products; cross-sectional survey

Published in

Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research
2017, Volume: 32, number: 8, pages: 807-817