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Forests 2015, 6(1), 225-243;

Developing a Quality Assessment Index System for Scenic Forest Management: A Case Study from Xishan Mountain, Suburban Beijing

Key Laboratory for Silviculture and Conservation of Ministry of Education, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
Sanming Forestry Bureau, Sanming 365000, Fujian, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Eric J. Jokela and Bradley Walters
Received: 16 September 2014 / Accepted: 7 January 2015 / Published: 13 January 2015
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The public’s demand for more and better forest landscapes is increasing as scenic forest tours flourish in China, especially in the capital, Beijing. How to improve the quality of scenic forests has become one of the greatest concerns of urban foresters. Although numerous studies have focused on scenic forest management, to date, no reports have been found on developing a quality assessment index system for scenic forest assessment. In this study, a simple and scientific index system was established using an analytical hierarchy process (AHP) to quantitatively assess scenic forest quality. The index system is composed of four scales: individual tree landscape quality, in-forest landscape quality, near-view forest landscape quality and far-view landscape quality. The in-forest landscape quality was determined by horizontal and vertical stand structures, species composition and under-canopy landscape traits. Near-view forest landscape quality was mainly determined by patch characteristics, seasonal change, visibility, color change of patches and stand age class. To test the validity of our quality assessment index system, scenic forests in Xishan were used as a case study. The results show that near-view forest landscape was the most important scale for the overall quality of the scenic forest, according to the priorities of the criterion layer, and the second most important scale was far-view forest landscape. Seasonal change, patch color contrast, patch distribution and patch shape accounted for 52.2% of the total of 13 indices in the near-view forest landscape. The integrated quality of scenic forests in Xishan was at an average level, and the in-forest landscape, near-view landscape and far-view landscape had below average quality. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest landscape; AHP; visual beauty forest landscape; AHP; visual beauty

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Gong, L.; Zhang, Z.; Xu, C. Developing a Quality Assessment Index System for Scenic Forest Management: A Case Study from Xishan Mountain, Suburban Beijing. Forests 2015, 6, 225-243.

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