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Article

Biophysical Accounting of Forests’ Value under Different Management Regimes: Conservation vs. Exploitation

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DISTAV (Department of Earth, Environmental and Life Sciences), University of Genoa, 16132 Genova, Italy
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CESBIN S.r.l. Via San Vincenzo 2, 16121 Genova, Italy
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GEOSCAPE Coop. Soc. Via Varese 2, 16122 Genova, Italy
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Section of Landscape Ecology, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Grigorios L. Kyriakopoulos, Sandra Notaro and Maria De Salvo
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 4638; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094638
Received: 8 March 2021 / Revised: 19 April 2021 / Accepted: 19 April 2021 / Published: 21 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessing and Valuing Ecosystem Services)
Forest ecosystems are important providers of ecosystem functions and services belonging to four categories: supporting, provisioning, regulating and cultural ecosystem services. Forest management, generally focused on timber production, has consequences on the ability of the system to keep providing services. Silviculture, in fact, may affect the ecological structures and processes from which services arise. In particular, the removal of biomass causes a radical change in the stocks and flows of energy characterizing the system. Aiming at the assessment of differences in stored natural capital and ecosystem functions and services provision, three differently managed temperate forests of common beech (Fagus sylvatica) were considered: (1) a forest in semi-natural condition, (2) a forest carefully managed to get timber in a sustainable way and (3) a forest exploited without management. Natural capital and ecosystem functions and services are here accounted in biophysical terms. Specifically, all the resources used up to create the biomass (stock) and maintain the production (flow) of the different components of the forest system were calculated. Both stored emergy and empower decrease with increasing human pressure on the forest, resulting in a loss of natural capital and a diminished ability of the natural system to contribute to human well-being in terms of ecosystem services provision. View Full-Text
Keywords: Fagus sylvatica; emergy accounting; natural capital; ecosystem functions Fagus sylvatica; emergy accounting; natural capital; ecosystem functions
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vassallo, P.; Turcato, C.; Rigo, I.; Scopesi, C.; Costa, A.; Barcella, M.; Dapueto, G.; Mariotti, M.; Paoli, C. Biophysical Accounting of Forests’ Value under Different Management Regimes: Conservation vs. Exploitation. Sustainability 2021, 13, 4638. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094638

AMA Style

Vassallo P, Turcato C, Rigo I, Scopesi C, Costa A, Barcella M, Dapueto G, Mariotti M, Paoli C. Biophysical Accounting of Forests’ Value under Different Management Regimes: Conservation vs. Exploitation. Sustainability. 2021; 13(9):4638. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094638

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vassallo, Paolo, Claudia Turcato, Ilaria Rigo, Claudia Scopesi, Andrea Costa, Matteo Barcella, Giulia Dapueto, Mauro Mariotti, and Chiara Paoli. 2021. "Biophysical Accounting of Forests’ Value under Different Management Regimes: Conservation vs. Exploitation" Sustainability 13, no. 9: 4638. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094638

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