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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2018

Applying the Delphi method to assess impacts of forest management on biodiversity and habitat preservation

Filyushkina, Anna; Strange, Niels; Lof, Magnus; Ezebilo, Eugene E.; Boman, Mattias

Abstract

This study applied a structured expert elicitation technique, the Delphi method, to identify the impacts of five forest management alternatives and several forest characteristics on the preservation of biodiversity and habitats in the boreal zone of the Nordic countries. The panel of experts consisted of a number of scientists in the field. The data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire distributed via e-mail in two rounds. Our findings demonstrated that an increase in management intensity for timber production is likely to have a negative effect on the biodiversity and habitats with intense management alternatives such as a "clear-cutting system" resulting in the strongest adverse impact. The presence of deadwood, mixture of trees of different sizes and increase in stand age were expected to promote preservation of biodiversity and habitats. However, there was little agreement between experts regarding the functional form that relationships between preservation of biodiversity and forest characteristics take. The Delphi method was found useful in investigating the existing knowledge base and capable of contributing to a more comprehensive assessment for decision support as a valuable addition to on-going empirical and modeling efforts. The findings could assist forest managers in developing forest management strategies that generate benefits from timber production while taking into account the trade-offs with biodiversity goals.

Keywords

Silviculture; Non-provisioning ecosystem services; Forest attributes; Management intensity

Published in

Forest Ecology and Management
2018, Volume: 409, pages: 179-189

      SLU Authors

          Sustainable Development Goals

          SDG15 Life on land

          UKÄ Subject classification

          Forest Science
          Economics

          Publication identifier

          DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2017.10.022

          Permanent link to this page (URI)

          https://res.slu.se/id/publ/92429