Special Issue "Forest Ecosystem Services and Products"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020) | Viewed by 9126

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Robert Deal
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
USDA Forest Service, PNW Research Station, Portland, OR 97205, USA
Interests: ecosystem services; sustainable forest management; forest stand dynamics; applied silviculture

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Ecosystem services broadly describes the comprehensive set of benefits that people receive from nature, including commonly recognized goods, such as timber and fresh water, and forest products that follow sustainable forest management principles. Forest ecosystem services and products integrate the ecological, economic, and social considerations for forestry, including reforestation (managing, growing, nurturing, and harvesting of trees for useful products), conservation (soil, water, and wildlife and fisheries habitats), aesthetics, and socioeconomic benefits to meet society’s needs. This Special Issue on forest ecosystem services and products will include emerging issues, such as ecosystem services and markets, life-cycle assessment of forest products, certified forestry systems, forest certification and certified forest products, and the economic contributions to sustainable forestry. In particular, this Special Issue will include papers that broadly focus on the provision of ecosystem services at national and international scales, including ecosystem services and markets for carbon, water, wetlands, and recreation; life-cycle assessment of forest products and mass timber structures; certified forest products from sustainably managed forests; forest certification and the ecolabeling of forest products and wood structures; applied silviculture to meet sustainable forest management objectives; the economic contributions of wood products to sustainable forestry; and other topics important for sustainable forest management.

Dr. Robert Deal
Guest Editor

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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 2000 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

  • ecosystem services and markets
  • applied silviculture for sustainable forest management
  • life-cycle assessment of forest products and mass timber structures
  • certified forest products
  • economic contributions of wood products

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
Assessing the Broader Value of Planted Forests to Inform Forest Management Decisions
Forests 2021, 12(6), 662; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12060662 - 24 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1650
Abstract
This study highlights the importance of incorporating objectively quantified, non-market environmental values (such as avoided erosion and carbon sequestration) into land use decision making for sustainable forest management. A continuously developing approach that has facilitated discussions between researchers, industries, and governments on the [...] Read more.
This study highlights the importance of incorporating objectively quantified, non-market environmental values (such as avoided erosion and carbon sequestration) into land use decision making for sustainable forest management. A continuously developing approach that has facilitated discussions between researchers, industries, and governments on the quantification of non-market values is the ecosystem services (ES) framework. Using a spatial economic tool, called Forest Investment Framework, this study is, to the best of our knowledge, the first assessment of the market (timber) and non-market (carbon sequestration, avoided nitrogen leaching and avoided erosion) ES values of the 1.75 million-hectare New Zealand planted forest estate. To collect the views of key planted forest industry representatives on ES assessment/quantification, we interviewed 14 forest managers representing 60% of the planted forest area. Results from the spatial economic analysis indicated that the non-market ES values can be more than four times the timber profit nationally, and up to 12 times higher in New Zealand’s most erosion-prone region. These estimated values are indicative and should be treated with caution. From a sensitivity analysis, we found that different discount rates significantly impact ES values, ratios, and distributions. Results from the interviews indicated that ES quantification helped inform decision making by supporting license to operate, while also signaling the development of a reward system for sustaining ES. Sixty-four percent of survey respondents identified the importance of quantifying ES in ecological terms and describing other non-market ES in spatial, qualitative, or binary forms. Overall, this study provided evidence of how estimated non-market ES values compare with market values and highlighted the importance of including them in decision making processes. Future cost benefit analyses that incorporate these non-market monetary ES values would complement multi-criteria analysis that integrate additional dimensions and allow decision makers to rank options based on their particular criteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Ecosystem Services and Products)
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Article
Exploring the Use of Ecosystem Services Conceptual Models to Account for the Benefits of Public Lands: An Example from National Forest Planning in the United States
Forests 2021, 12(3), 267; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12030267 - 26 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1255
Abstract
A shared understanding of the benefits and tradeoffs to people from alternative land management strategies is critical to successful decision-making for managing public lands and fostering shared stewardship. This study describes an approach for identifying and monitoring the types of resource benefits and [...] Read more.
A shared understanding of the benefits and tradeoffs to people from alternative land management strategies is critical to successful decision-making for managing public lands and fostering shared stewardship. This study describes an approach for identifying and monitoring the types of resource benefits and tradeoffs considered in National Forest planning in the United States under the 2012 Planning Rule and demonstrates the use of tools for conceptualizing the production of ecosystem services and benefits from alternative land management strategies. Efforts to apply these tools through workshops and engagement exercises provide opportunities to explore and highlight measures, indicators, and data sources for characterizing benefits and tradeoffs in collaborative environments involving interdisciplinary planning teams. Conceptual modeling tools are applied to a case study examining the social and economic benefits of recreation on the Ashley National Forest. The case study illustrates how these types of tools facilitate dialog for planning teams to discuss alternatives and key ecosystem service outcomes, create easy to interpret visuals that map details in plans, and provide a basis for selecting ecosystem service (socio-economic) metrics. These metrics can be used to enhance environmental impact analysis, and help satisfy the goals of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the 2012 Planning Rule, and shared stewardship initiatives. The systematic consideration of ecosystem services outcomes and metrics supported by this approach enhanced dialog between members of the Forest planning team, allowed for a more transparent process in identification of key linkages and outcomes, and identified impacts and outcomes that may not have been apparent to the sociologist who is lacking the resource specific expertise of these participants. As a result, the use of the Ecosystem Service Conceptual Model (ESCM) process may result in reduced time for internal reviews and greater comprehension of anticipated outcomes and impacts of proposed management in the plan revision Environmental Impact Statement amongst the planning team. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Ecosystem Services and Products)
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Article
Carbon Life Cycle Assessment on California-Specific Wood Products Industries: Do Data Backup General Default Values for Wood Harvest and Processing?
Forests 2021, 12(2), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12020177 - 03 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1006
Abstract
Carbon life cycle assessments (C LCA) play a major role in greenhouse gas (GHG)-related forest management analytics for wood products and consist of several steps along a forest to disposal path. Yet, input values for wood product C LCAs frequently rely on potentially [...] Read more.
Carbon life cycle assessments (C LCA) play a major role in greenhouse gas (GHG)-related forest management analytics for wood products and consist of several steps along a forest to disposal path. Yet, input values for wood product C LCAs frequently rely on potentially outdated generic datasets for wood product outputs and mill efficiencies. Assumptions regarding sawmill efficiencies and sawmill-specific wood product outputs have a direct and significant impact on wood product C LCAs because these variables affect the net carbon footprint of the finished product. The goal of this analysis was to evaluate how well standard wood product C LCA inputs and assumptions for the two initial wood products LCA steps (i) forest operations and (ii) wood processing represent the current state of the wood processing industry in California. We found that sawmill efficiencies and wood product outputs both support and deviate from lookup tables currently used in publications supporting the climate-forest policy dialogue. We recommend further analysis to resolve the major discrepancies in the carbon fraction stored in durable wood products and production-related emissions to improve C LCA metrics and advance forest-related climate policy discussions in California and elsewhere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Ecosystem Services and Products)
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Article
Wood Products for Cultural Uses: Sustaining Native Resilience and Vital Lifeways in Southeast Alaska, USA
Forests 2021, 12(1), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12010090 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1870
Abstract
Ongoing revitalization of the >5000-year-old tradition of using trees for vital culture and heritage activities including carving and weaving affirms Alaska Native resilience. However, support for these sustained cultural practices is complicated by environmental and political factors. Carving projects typically require western redcedar [...] Read more.
Ongoing revitalization of the >5000-year-old tradition of using trees for vital culture and heritage activities including carving and weaving affirms Alaska Native resilience. However, support for these sustained cultural practices is complicated by environmental and political factors. Carving projects typically require western redcedar (Thuja plicata) or yellow cedar (Callitropsis nootkatensis) trees more than 450 years of age—a tree life stage and growth rate inconsistent with current even-aged forest management strategies. Herein, we qualitatively assess the significance of wood products to rural communities and Indigenous cultures with implications for natural heritage sustainability. In partnership with Alaska Native Tribes, we engaged local youth programs to lead community discussions throughout southeast Alaska to provide specificity to the suite of cultural activities linked to regional forest lands. Results from 58 discussions across 11 southeast Alaska communities (primarily Alaska Native participants) highlighted the cultural importance of forest products including totem poles, dugout canoes, longhouses, woven hats, and woven baskets. Findings indicated spiritual well-being, health, education, tourism, and livelihood significance attributed to these products. Participant-suggested management strategies for increasing supply and expanding access to trees on public lands included: engaging local artisans in forest planning, selecting and delivering specific trees to roads as part of ongoing timber sales, allowing bark removal prior to forest-timber sales, simplifying the tree-acquisition permit process, and setting aside cultural forest groves to sustain trees seven generations into the future. By facilitating discussions, this study fostered relevant place-based youth and community engagement, benefiting youth and enhancing community knowledge transfer while simultaneously summarizing the significance of forest products for resilient culture and heritage activities. Forest management plans aiming to support Alaska Native lifeways may benefit from improved understanding of Indigenous perspectives and worldviews; designation of “culture market values” and “culture targets” can help deliver a broad array of ecosystem services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Ecosystem Services and Products)
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Article
Sustainable Practices in Furniture Design: A Literature Study on Customization, Biomimicry, Competitiveness, and Product Communication
Forests 2020, 11(12), 1277; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11121277 - 28 Nov 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2721
Abstract
This research considers the ecosystem services associated with furniture, one of the leading types of secondary wood products manufactured internationally. We review and synthesize the literature surrounding the sustainable design, use, and disposition of wood furniture and related products in global markets. We [...] Read more.
This research considers the ecosystem services associated with furniture, one of the leading types of secondary wood products manufactured internationally. We review and synthesize the literature surrounding the sustainable design, use, and disposition of wood furniture and related products in global markets. We consider emerging and innovative design strategies for wood (in biomimicry, for example) as well as topics that have been gaining traction in recent years (i.e., green supply chain management and eco/environmental labels and related market communications). An overarching theme is to consider how firm competitiveness can be influenced, or even enhanced, by green practices in design and associated communications with consumers. With a trend toward increasing customization in the secondary wood product marketplace, the role of design might be changing. However, design remains a critical product development function in modern markets, and designers are well-positioned to influence sustainable material utilization and improve furniture product use and lifespan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Ecosystem Services and Products)
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