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Research article2020Peer reviewedOpen access

A Spatially Explicit Decision Support System for Assessment of Tree Stump Harvest Using Biodiversity and Economic Criteria

Jonsson, Mari; Sjogren, Jorgen; Hannrup, Bjorn; Larsolle, Anders; Mortberg, Ulla; Nordstrom, Maria; Olsson, Bengt A.; Stromgren, Monika

Abstract

Stump harvesting is predicted to increase with future increasing demands for renewable energy. This may affect deadwood affiliate biodiversity negatively, given that stumps constitute a large proportion of the coarse deadwood in young managed forests. Spatial decision support for evaluating the integrated effects on biodiversity and production of stump harvesting is needed. We developed a spatially explicit decision support system (called MapStump-DSS), for assessment of tree stump harvesting using biodiversity and economic criteria together with different scenarios for biodiversity conservation and bioenergy market prices. Two novel key aspects of the MAPStump-DSS is that it (1) merges and utilizes georeferenced stump-level data (e.g., tree species and diameter) directly from the harvester with stand data that are increasingly available to forest managers and (2) is flexible toward incorporating both quantitative and qualitative criteria based on emerging knowledge (here biodiversity criteria) or underlying societal drivers and end-user preferences. We tested the MAPStump-DSS on a 45 ha study forest, utilizing harvester data on characteristics and geographical positions for >26,000 stumps. The MAPStump-DSS produced relevant spatially explicit information on the biodiversity and economic values of individual stumps, where amounts of "conflict stumps" (with both high biodiversity and economical value) increased with bioenergy price levels and strengthened biodiversity conservation measures. The MAPStump-DSS can be applied in practice for any forest site, allowing the user to examine the spatial distribution of stumps and to obtain summaries for whole forest stands. Information depicted by the MAPStump-DSS includes amounts, characteristics, biodiversity values and costs of stumps in relation to different scenarios, which also allow the user to explore and optimize biodiversity and economy trade-offs prior to stump harvest.

Keywords

bioenergy; coniferous forest; environmental management; integrated sustainability assessment; multi-criteria analysis (MCA); sensitivity analysis

Published in

Sustainability
2020, Volume: 12, number: 21, article number: 8900Publisher: MDPI