Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Maintenance and enhancement of forest ecosystem services: a non-industrial private forest owner perspective

Bergkvist, John; Nikoleris, Alexandra; Fors, Hanna; Jonsson, Anna Maria


The transition to a fossil-free society in Sweden is expected to cause an increased demand for forest-derived products which may intensify existing conflicts between forest ecosystem services. This study investigated the preferences among non-industrial private forest owners for maintaining multiple forest ecosystem services and their preferences for future forest development. The findings were related to their prioritizations for and knowledge of forest management. The study results were generated through the means of a survey which revealed a consistent high valuation among all respondents of ecosystem services relating to water quality, timber quality, recreation, and biodiversity. A majority of the respondents desired increasing proportions of mixed species and broadleaved stands within the future forest landscape. Certified forest owners who were members of a forest owner association (CMs) prioritized achieving high economic income through roundwood production with strong preferences for the ecosystem services high stand growth and high timber quality. For CMs, carbon substitution was the preferred means of mitigating climate change. Forest owners lacking both certification and membership in a forest owner association ranked the ecosystem services recreation and biodiversity significantly higher, and also preferred retaining more old forest within the landscape. The survey results revealed a higher management activity among CMs, resulting in a more frequent establishment of mixed and broadleaved stands. Forest owners with medium to large scale properties were well-represented within the CM category. The results indicated that while the CMs have stronger preferences for roundwood production compared to owners of small properties, they are also more likely to have taken adaptive measures favoring risk management and biodiversity.


Forest ecosystem services; Non-industrial private forest owners; Mixed species stands; Certification

Published in

European Journal of Forest Research
2024, Volume: 143, number: 1, pages: 169-185 Publisher: SPRINGER

    Associated SLU-program

    SLU Forest Damage Center

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG13 Climate action
    SDG15 Life on land

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)