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Research article2023Peer reviewed

Perceptions of uncertainty in forest planning: contrasting forest professionals' perspectives with the latest research

Llorente, Irene de Pellegrin; Eyvindson, Kyle; Mazziotta, Adriano; Lamas, Tomas; Eggers, Jeannette; Ohman, Karin


Many of the intrinsic facets of forest planning are surrounded by uncertainty. Decision-makers strive to improve their understanding of the sources of uncertainty and their impact on the decision-making process. However, uncertainty is rarely integrated into real-world forestry applications or into decision support tools used in forest planning problems. To identify the needs, interests, and challenges of managing uncertainty in forest planning, we interviewed forestry professionals. All the interviewees indicated the positive potential of a tool that could address some facets of uncertainty. Additionally, we conducted a review of the most recent literature on this topic to understand current hot topics and future trends that could help address realworld challenges. This study highlights the next steps to incorporate uncertainty into the decision support systems for forest planning. However, to strengthen the bond between the practical needs of forestry professionals and the theoretical approaches proposed by recent literature, more effort should be placed on defining terminology and formulating a theoretical framework for uncertainty analysis. This will provide the forestry community with a common language and typology, help increase its general understanding, and improve communication between forestry researchers, forestry professionals, and other stakeholders.


decision support systems; forest management; forest planning; stochastic; uncertainty

Published in

Canadian Journal of Forest Research
2023, Volume: 53, number: 4, pages: 391-406