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Comparison of AHP and a Utility-Based Theory Method for Selected Vertical and Horizontal Forest Structure Indicators in the Sustainability Assessment of Forest Management in the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park, Madrid Region

ETSI Montes, Forestal y del Medio Natural, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria sn, 28040 Madrid, Spain
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Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4101; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114101
Received: 18 September 2018 / Revised: 2 November 2018 / Accepted: 5 November 2018 / Published: 8 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Forest Management)
This paper compares two pairwise comparison methods, the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and a utility theory based method (UTB method), for sustainability assessment in forest management at the local level. Six alternatives were ranked, corresponding to six different types of forest management in the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park in the Madrid Region in Spain. The methods were tested by postgraduate students enrolled in a “Decision Support Systems” course at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. Three sustainability indicators were considered: structural diversity, timber yield, and amount of biomass. The utility theory based method was the first to be compared, which is implemented in the computer program SILVANET. For each pair of alternatives, the students were asked which one they considered to be more sustainable. In the case of the Analytic Hierarchy Process, the students compared the indicators and the alternatives for each indicator. The Spearman’s correlation coefficient indicated that there was no correlation between the rankings for most of the students. The results revealed that the convergence in opinion in the AHP method was higher than in the utility based method for a low number of participants, and distinguished the differences between the alternatives more accurately. However in the case of the UTB method, the participants considered sustainability as a whole and made a more context-based comparison. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable forest management assessment; AHP; utility theory based method sustainable forest management assessment; AHP; utility theory based method
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Martín-Fernández, S.; Gómez-Serrano, A.; Martínez-Falero, E.; Pascual, C. Comparison of AHP and a Utility-Based Theory Method for Selected Vertical and Horizontal Forest Structure Indicators in the Sustainability Assessment of Forest Management in the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park, Madrid Region. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4101.

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