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Review article2010Peer reviewedOpen access

From the small woodland problem to ecosocial systems: the evolution of social research on small-scale forestry in Sweden and the USA

Fischer, A. Paige; Bliss, John; Ingemarson, Fredrik; Lidestav, Gun; Lönnstedt, Lars


This review article deals with the evolution of academic small-scale forestry research in Sweden and the USA from its early focus on timber supply to present-day interest in stewardship objectives, characteristics and attitudes. Aiming at identifying fresh opportunities for research on small-scale forestry, it reflects on the questions that have dominated the literature over the past quarter of a century, the socioeconomic conditions under which those questions arose, and their influence on the evolution of the field. The goal was to explore key drivers for research over the past 25 years and identify emerging research themes, and by that provide insight into what developments may make the research enterprise more fruitful. With some exceptions, it is based on articles in refereed journals and to academic theses covering the time span 1985-2010. It reflects a reappraisal of the subject of the research and corresponding policies. Similar research tendencies are evident in both countries. Research historically focused on the practical problem of efficient production using a weak theoretical foundation. More recently, researchers have focused on understanding diverse motivations and roles that can be played. It is argued that the field of small-scale forestry research is ripe for new multidisciplinary approaches.


diversification; forestry; management; multidisciplinary; non-industrial forest owners; objectives; policy

Published in

Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research
2010, Volume: 25, number: 4, pages: 390-398 Publisher: TAYLOR & FRANCIS AS

      SLU Authors

    • Ingemarson, Fredrik

      • Department of Forest Products, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
        • Lönnstedt, Lars

          • Department of Forest Products, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

        Sustainable Development Goals

        SDG15 Life on land

        UKÄ Subject classification

        Forest Science

        Publication identifier


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