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Special Issue "Decision Support to Address Multiple Ecosystem Services in Forest Management Planning"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Ecology and Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 October 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Jose G. Borges

Forest Research Centre, School of Agriculture, University of Lisbon, Tapada da Ajuda 1349-017 Lisbon, Portugal
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +351-21-365-34-86
Fax: +351-21-364-33-38
Interests: spatially-explicit forest management scheduling; trade-off analysis between ecosystem services target values; integrating risk in forest management scheduling
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Harald Vacik

Institute of Silviculture, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
Website | E-Mail
Interests: sustainable forest management; decision support systems; biodiversity; silviculture
Guest Editor
Dr. Keith M. Reynolds

USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Corvallis, OR 97331 USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: spatial decision support for environmental analysis and planning, including the application of logic-based modeling, multi-criteria decision analysis, Bayesian inference, and decision trees
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Luiz Carlos E. Rodriguez

Departamento de Ciências Florestais, ESALQ, University of S. Paulo, Av. Pádua Dias, 11 13418-900 Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil
E-Mail
Interests: sustainable industrial forests management scheduling; sustainable tropical forests management; forest economics
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Emin Z. Başkent

Former member of Faculty of Forestry, Karadeniz Technical University, 61080 Trabzon, Turkey
Website | E-Mail
Interests: spatial forest planning; geographic information systems; decision support systems; multipurpose forest management; integration of ecosystem services to forest management planning

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue will comprise a selection of papers reporting recent advances in research on decision support approaches in forest management, targeting the provision of ecosystem services (ES). The special issue aims to contribute to our understanding of how we can enhance forest management planning, in integrating a wide range of ES and assuring a sustainable supply (e.g. products and services listed in the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment). In this context, the special issue will address the challenges and opportunities regarding a) products obtained from ecosystems, b) benefits obtained from regulation of ecosystem processes, c) nonmaterial benefits obtained from ecosystems and d) services necessary for the production of all other ecosystem services. Manuscripts will be classified according to the ecosystem service category(ies) they address, e.g., provisioning, regulating, cultural and supporting services. Manuscripts may focus on 1) models to help forest managers check the impact of management options on the provision of ES, 2) methods to help forest managers develop plans targeting the supply of ES, 3) methods to help forest managers analyze tradeoffs between a multitude of ES, 4) methods to help forest managers assess the sensitivity of the supply of ecosystem services to uncertain parameters and 5) multiple criteria decision support systems, 6) approaches to map the demand for ES and the quality and quantity of ES supply. This Special Issue is sponsored by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO Unit 4.04.04—Sustainable Forest Management Scheduling and IUFRO Unit 4.03—Informatics, Modelling, and Statistics and IUFRO Unit 4.03.03. Information management and information technologies). Papers submitted for publication in this Special Issue will undergo a rigorous peer review process with the aim of prompt and wide dissemination of research results and applications.

Prof. Jose G Borges
Prof. Harald Vacik
Dr. Keith M. Reynolds
Prof. Luiz Carlos Rodriguez
Prof. Emin Z. Başkent
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • forest management planning
  • ecosystem services
  • decision support systems

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Species Mixing Regulation with Respect to Forest Ecosystem Service Provision
Forests 2018, 9(10), 632; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9100632
Received: 8 August 2018 / Revised: 9 October 2018 / Accepted: 10 October 2018 / Published: 11 October 2018
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Abstract
The control and maintenance of species composition of mixed stands is a highly relevant objective of forest management in order to provide multifunctionality and climatic resilience. In contrast to this requirement there is, however, an evident lack of quantitative methods for mixture regulation. [...] Read more.
The control and maintenance of species composition of mixed stands is a highly relevant objective of forest management in order to provide multifunctionality and climatic resilience. In contrast to this requirement there is, however, an evident lack of quantitative methods for mixture regulation. In this context, we propose an approach for the regulation of mixture proportions that has been implemented in a forest management model. The approach considers species-specific growth characteristics and takes into account the mixing effect on stand density. We present five exemplary simulations that apply the regulation. Each simulation maintains one of five desired species compositions. In these simulations, we consider the species European beech and Norway spruce under good site conditions, thus representing the most prominent mixed stands in Central Europe. Based on this model experiment, we analyze the potential benefit of controlled mixing regulation for achieving desired levels and combinations of ecosystem service provision, in particular productivity, diversity, and groundwater recharge. We found that a constant 50% basal area share of beech (equivalent growing space share of 80% to 70% depending on stand age) provided the most balanced supply of ecosystem services. Prominently, groundwater recharge considerably decreased when beech basal area shares were held below 50%. We discuss the ecological and practical implications of the regulation approach and different mixing shares. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Combining Decision Support Approaches for Optimizing the Selection of Bundles of Ecosystem Services
Forests 2018, 9(7), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070438
Received: 24 May 2018 / Revised: 18 July 2018 / Accepted: 19 July 2018 / Published: 21 July 2018
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Abstract
This study examines the potential of combining decision support approaches to identify optimal bundles of ecosystem services in a framework characterized by multiple decision-makers. A forested landscape, Zona de Intervenção Florestal of Paiva and Entre-Douro and Sousa (ZIF_VS) in Portugal, is used to [...] Read more.
This study examines the potential of combining decision support approaches to identify optimal bundles of ecosystem services in a framework characterized by multiple decision-makers. A forested landscape, Zona de Intervenção Florestal of Paiva and Entre-Douro and Sousa (ZIF_VS) in Portugal, is used to test and demonstrate this potential. The landscape extends over 14,388 ha, representing 1976 stands. The property is fragmented into 376 holdings. The overall analysis was performed in three steps. First, we selected six alternative solutions (A to F) in a Pareto frontier generated by a multiple-criteria method within a web-based decision support system (SADfLOR) for subsequent analysis. Next, an aspatial strategic multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) was performed with the Criterium DecisionPlus (CDP) component of the Ecosystem Management Decision Support (EMDS) system to assess the aggregate performance of solutions A to F for the entire forested landscape with respect to their utility for delivery of ecosystem services. For the CDP analysis, SADfLOR data inputs were grouped into two sets of primary criteria: Wood Harvested and Other Ecosystem Services. Finally, a spatial logic-based assessment of solutions A to F for individual stands of the study area was performed with the NetWeaver component of EMDS. The NetWeaver model was structurally and computationally equivalent to the CDP model, but the key NetWeaver metric is a measure of the strength of evidence that solutions for specific stands were optimal for the unit. We conclude with a discussion of how the combination of decision support approaches encapsulated in the two systems could be further automated in order to rank several efficient solutions in a Pareto frontier and generate a consensual solution. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Synergies and Trade-Offs in the Production of NWFPs Predicted in Boreal Forests
Forests 2018, 9(7), 417; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070417
Received: 4 June 2018 / Revised: 6 July 2018 / Accepted: 9 July 2018 / Published: 11 July 2018
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Abstract
The global growth of the consumption of non-wood forest products (NWFPs) is evident due to the current trends in lifestyle and consumption. Alongside the increased popularity and commercial use of NWFPs, their yields are also more often taken into account in forest management [...] Read more.
The global growth of the consumption of non-wood forest products (NWFPs) is evident due to the current trends in lifestyle and consumption. Alongside the increased popularity and commercial use of NWFPs, their yields are also more often taken into account in forest management planning. Empirical yield models recently developed for different NWFPs enable forest managers to include their predicted yields in multi-objective optimization. However, knowledge on the synergies and trade-offs between timber production and different NWFPs is scanty. In this study, we analyzed these relationships through correlation matrices and production possibility frontiers in two case study forest holdings from Finland. A large number of Pareto optimal forest holding level plans were produced by multi-objective optimization and used to analyze trade-offs and synergies. Empirical yield models for 12 NWFPs, representing different berries, mushrooms, and tree-based products, were utilized in the analyses. The results revealed synergies and possibilities for joint-production for NWFPs, but also trade-offs between NWFPs and timber production. NWFPs often had a negative correlation with cutting removals, with the only exception being cowberry. Despite the overall negative correlation, the maximum yields of NWFPs called for some cuttings. Negative correlations with the net present value of timber production were weaker. The results are valuable when the aim is to diversify the use of boreal forests and open avenues for truly multi-objective decision support services to facilitate the decision making of forest owners. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview Can Existing Estimates for Ecosystem Service Values Inform Forest Management?
Forests 2019, 10(2), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10020132
Received: 8 January 2019 / Revised: 28 January 2019 / Accepted: 2 February 2019 / Published: 6 February 2019
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Abstract
This paper aims at analyzing whether existing economic value estimates for forest ecosystem services (ES) might be transferred and used for valuation purposes elsewhere, and whether these data are appropriate for application in forest management. Many forest ES are public goods or positive [...] Read more.
This paper aims at analyzing whether existing economic value estimates for forest ecosystem services (ES) might be transferred and used for valuation purposes elsewhere, and whether these data are appropriate for application in forest management. Many forest ES are public goods or positive externalities, and as a consequence they do not have a market price. The valuation of forest ES can provide important information for decision making in forest management and planning as well as in political processes, especially by allowing the comparison of different alternatives and helping set priorities for practical actions, as well as developing financial incentives or support mechanisms. We analyze whether an integrated economic valuation model for forest ES can be developed based on existing published data. To achieve this, we assess to which extent a benefit transfer could be expedient, and which challenges must be addressed. Based on a literature search, we compiled an extensive database of forest ES values. Given that these values vary substantially for the same ES, such a database alone does not seem useful to serve as a decision and management support tool. In addition, the available information mainly focuses on forests as such, and does not include desirable forest composition and management targets. If existing estimates should be transferred and used for forest management decisions, both the background conditions of the primary studies and the indicators used for valuation need to be specified in detail. The most expedient approach in this context seemed to be a valuation function transfer based on a broad set of indicators, offering the possibility to adapt the valuation function to changing background conditions. Full article
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