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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2018

Comparing buffer zone alternatives in forest planning using a decision support system

Lundstrom, Johanna; Ohman, Karin; Laudon, Hjalmar


Increased awareness of the connection between forest management activities and negative effects on water quality means that forestry needs to consider its potential impact on the aquatic environment when planning operations. Protective buffer zones are effective, but their design can vary. To be able to incorporate up-to-date scientific theory into practical applications easy-to-use planning tools are needed. In this study, we evaluate different buffer zone alternatives by using the freely available decision support system Heureka. The consequences on both economic and ecological values over a time period of 100 years were evaluated for two buffer zone approaches and three management alternatives within the buffer zones. Results indicated that there is a trade-off between economic and ecological values when managing the buffer zones. To be able to perform the analyses within Heureka, a new tool was developed. This software development provides access to a forest planning tool that can help improve nature conservation.


Conservation; boreal forest; buffer zones; Heureka; optimization; stream water quality

Published in

Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research
2018, Volume: 33, number: 5, pages: 493-501