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Special Issue "Management Strategies for Forest Ecosystem Services"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Ir. Kris Verheyen

Forest & Nature Lab, Department of Forest and Water Management, Ghent University Geraardsbergsesteenweg 267, B-9090 Melle-Gontrode, Belgium
Website | E-Mail

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The assessment, modelling and valuation of ecosystem services (ES) have gained a lot of interest during the last decade. Without any doubt, the ES concept is an asset when planning for the sustainable management of forests. It provides a framework for the systematic assessment of all possible services delivered by forests and this helps, among other assets, to more explicitly credit the multiple benefits that forests deliver to society. The concept also proposes a common language which is used across land uses and sectors, facilitating communication between stakeholders and with the wider public. Integrated approaches with other land uses are further encouraged due to the fact that the ES concept covers multiple scales, from local to global. However, there are also some risks when bringing the ES concept into the process of sustainable forest management planning. Valuation of ES may be very incomplete and pushes attention towards services which are readily quantified and monetised and/or to services for which (emerging) markets are available. Along the same lines, rigorous application of the ES concept challenges the evolved compromise of sustainable forest management where the participation of multiple stakeholders in decision-making is key, even when a quantification of the interests at hand is difficult. Hence, although promising, several conceptual and methodological challenges need to be overcome before the ES concept can be fully translated into practice. We encourage studies from all fields, including experimental studies, observational approaches and models, to contribute to this Special Issue in order to promote knowledge and insights on management strategies for sustainable forest ecosystem services.

Dr. Kris Verheyen
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 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

  • Ecosystem services
  • Ecosystem functioning
  • Biodiversity
  • Forest multifunctionality
  • Forest management planning
  • Sustainable forest management

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Preserving Ecosystem Services on Indigenous Territory through Restoration and Management of a Cultural Keystone Species
Forests 2017, 8(6), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8060194
Received: 10 April 2017 / Revised: 28 May 2017 / Accepted: 29 May 2017 / Published: 3 June 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3552 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus L.) is a cultural keystone tree species in the forests of eastern North America, providing numerous ecosystem services to Indigenous people. White pine abundance in the landscape has considerably decreased over the last few centuries due to [...] Read more.
Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus L.) is a cultural keystone tree species in the forests of eastern North America, providing numerous ecosystem services to Indigenous people. White pine abundance in the landscape has considerably decreased over the last few centuries due to overharvesting, suppression of surface fires, extensive management, and plantation failure. The Kitcisakik Algonquin community of western Quebec is calling for restoration and sustainable management of white pine on its ancestral territory, to ensure provision of associated ecosystem services. We present five white pine restoration and management scenarios taking into account community needs and ecological types: (1) natural regeneration of scattered white pines to produce individuals of different sizes and ages used as medicinal plants; (2) protection of supercanopy white pines used as landmarks and for providing habitat for flagship wildlife species, and younger individuals left as regeneration and future canopy trees; (3) the uniform shelterwood system to create white pine-dominated stands that provide habitat for flagship wildlife species and support cultural activities; (4) under-canopy plantations to yield mature white pine stands for timber production; (5) mixed plantations to produce forests with aesthetic qualities that provide wildlife habitat and protect biodiversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management Strategies for Forest Ecosystem Services)
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Open AccessArticle Characterizing Habitat Elements and Their Distribution over Several Spatial Scales: The Case of the Fisher
Forests 2017, 8(6), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8060186
Received: 11 February 2017 / Revised: 20 May 2017 / Accepted: 24 May 2017 / Published: 28 May 2017
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Abstract
In past studies of the fisher (Pekania pennanti) most researchers have concluded that fisher habitat must consist of mostly mature to late-seral forest with few, if any, openings. Without doubt, certain elements found in mature to late-seral forests are required by females to [...] Read more.
In past studies of the fisher (Pekania pennanti) most researchers have concluded that fisher habitat must consist of mostly mature to late-seral forest with few, if any, openings. Without doubt, certain elements found in mature to late-seral forests are required by females to successfully rear their young, but some recent work casts doubt on the extent that a continuous canopy of tree coverage and a preponderance of older stands are necessary as long as certain components exist. This paper explores this issue with an attempt to better characterize essential elements of habitat for the female fisher. This characterization is based upon fine-scale inventory plot data that is analyzed across several spatial scales that represent a small neighborhood about den sites, the forest of the 75% kernel density estimate for female home ranges, and the forested region as a whole. We present results of a test of significance in comparing habitat elements across these three scales. Our findings suggest that certain habitat elements typically found in mature to late seral forests must be present at a certain fraction of the landscape for the fisher. The approach described here may be of considerable value in developing guidelines for conservation agreements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management Strategies for Forest Ecosystem Services)
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Open AccessArticle Understanding Ecosystem Service Preferences across Residential Classifications near Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington (USA)
Forests 2017, 8(5), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8050157
Received: 28 February 2017 / Revised: 21 April 2017 / Accepted: 2 May 2017 / Published: 6 May 2017
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1252 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ecosystem services consistently group together both spatially and cognitively into “bundles”. Understanding socio-economic predictors of these bundles is essential to informing a management approach that emphasizes equitable distribution of ecosystem services. We received 1796 completed surveys from stakeholders of the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National [...] Read more.
Ecosystem services consistently group together both spatially and cognitively into “bundles”. Understanding socio-economic predictors of these bundles is essential to informing a management approach that emphasizes equitable distribution of ecosystem services. We received 1796 completed surveys from stakeholders of the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest (WA, USA) using both in-person workshops and an online platform. Survey respondents rated the importance of 26 ecosystem services. Subsequent analysis revealed six distinct preference bundles of these services: environmental quality, utilitarian values, heritage values, two types of recreational values, and access and roads. Results suggest that the conceptualizations of these bundles are consistent across socio-demographic groups. Resource agencies that seek to frame dialogue around critical values may want to consider these broadly representative bundle sets as a meaningful organizing framework that would resonate with diverse constituents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management Strategies for Forest Ecosystem Services)
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Open AccessArticle Ecosystem Service Valuation through Wildfire Risk Mitigation: Design, Governance, and Outcomes of the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project (FWPP)
Forests 2017, 8(5), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8050142
Received: 28 February 2017 / Revised: 17 April 2017 / Accepted: 19 April 2017 / Published: 26 April 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (856 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The full value of benefits rendered from healthy watersheds is difficult to estimate, and ecosystem service (ES) valuation sometimes necessarily occurs in the form of costs incurred or avoided. Along these lines, social-ecological systems including Payment for Watershed Services (PWS) are increasing in [...] Read more.
The full value of benefits rendered from healthy watersheds is difficult to estimate, and ecosystem service (ES) valuation sometimes necessarily occurs in the form of costs incurred or avoided. Along these lines, social-ecological systems including Payment for Watershed Services (PWS) are increasing in frequency and can help land management entities to bridge budget shortfalls for funding needed watershed restoration forestry treatments. The Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project (FWPP) is a bond-financed wildfire risk mitigation partnership and PWS program in Northern Arizona, the only forest management project that utilizes a municipal bond as the financial mechanism in conjunction with a partnership governance structure to invest in federal land management. The purpose of this research was to describe this new governance structure to understand the potential benefits to communities and federal land management agencies for protecting watershed services. Data were derived from document review and key informant interviews (n = 9). FWPP institutional design and governance structures were tailored to maximize community strengths and encompassed several advantages over traditional federal land management models; these advantages include increased collaboration and institutional support, financial security, and public approval. The FWPP represents an innovative PWS system that can help showcase unique community and federal forest management partnerships that benefit watershed health in western US communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management Strategies for Forest Ecosystem Services)
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Open AccessArticle Forest Company Dependencies and Impacts on Ecosystem Services: Expert Perceptions from China
Forests 2017, 8(4), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8040134
Received: 13 February 2017 / Revised: 3 April 2017 / Accepted: 19 April 2017 / Published: 22 April 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (929 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Global awareness of sustainability issues is growing rapidly, and business organizations are called to address wider social and environmental concerns along with economic performance. However, limited systematic knowledge exists on the interactions between forest industries and natural ecosystems. We thus investigated the role [...] Read more.
Global awareness of sustainability issues is growing rapidly, and business organizations are called to address wider social and environmental concerns along with economic performance. However, limited systematic knowledge exists on the interactions between forest industries and natural ecosystems. We thus investigated the role of ecosystem services in the context of China’s forest sector. A qualitative research approach was used to elicit company external expert viewpoints on the topic. Our analysis focused on three themes: (1) forest company dependencies and impacts on ecosystem services; (2) business risks arising from dependencies and impacts; and (3) risk response strategies. The interviewed 20 experts identified a series of forest company dependencies and impacts (including negative and positive impacts) on several ecosystem services. The extent of dependencies and impacts is largely influenced by the business portfolio of the company. The perceived business risks include intense competition and the consequently increasing price for natural resources, which would affect forest company business plans, costs and outputs. The suggested strategies for turning risks into opportunities include outsourcing wood, changing production focus, promoting industrial upgrading and implementing regular assessments of corporate dependencies and impacts on ecosystem services. The findings of our study can guide companies’ decision-making in managing forest ecosystems sustainably. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management Strategies for Forest Ecosystem Services)
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Open AccessArticle An Ecologically Based System for Sustainable Agroforestry in Sub-Tropical and Tropical Forests
Forests 2017, 8(4), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8040102
Received: 7 December 2016 / Revised: 20 March 2017 / Accepted: 21 March 2017 / Published: 29 March 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3973 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Forests in tropical and sub-tropical countries face severe pressures due to a combination of poverty and environment degradation. To be effective, measures to protect these forests must therefore consider both economic and ecological dimensions synergistically. The purpose of this paper was to synthesize [...] Read more.
Forests in tropical and sub-tropical countries face severe pressures due to a combination of poverty and environment degradation. To be effective, measures to protect these forests must therefore consider both economic and ecological dimensions synergistically. The purpose of this paper was to synthesize our long-term work (1994–2015) on a Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba L.) agroforestry system and demonstrate its potential for achieving both goals, and discuss its wider application in tropical and sub-tropical countries. The performance of various ecological, economic, and social indicators was compared among five Ginkgo agroforestry systems. Two additional indicators, Harmony Degree (HD) and Development Degree (DD), were also used to show the integrated performance of these indicators. Ginkgo-Wheat-Peanut (G+W+P) and Ginkgo-Rapeseed-Peanut (G+R+P) are the best systems when compared to pure and mixed Ginkgo plantations, or pure agricultural crops. Results demonstrate that it is possible to achieve both economic development and environmental protection through implementation of sustainable agroforestry systems in sub-tropical regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management Strategies for Forest Ecosystem Services)
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Open AccessArticle A Model to Estimate Willingness to Pay for Harvest Permits for Wild Edible Mushrooms: Application to Andalusian Forests
Forests 2016, 7(12), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7120292
Received: 22 September 2016 / Revised: 7 November 2016 / Accepted: 18 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1003 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Public demand for harvesting wild edible mushrooms has risen in recent decades and currently affects many forested areas around the world. The idea of introducing permits for users has been conceived as a tool for ecosystem management. The problem is that policy-makers lack [...] Read more.
Public demand for harvesting wild edible mushrooms has risen in recent decades and currently affects many forested areas around the world. The idea of introducing permits for users has been conceived as a tool for ecosystem management. The problem is that policy-makers lack the necessary means to help guide them when establishing prices for such harvesting permits. Valuing the recreational benefits which mushroom harvesters derive from harvesting wild edible mushrooms may provide certain guidelines as to how much people would be willing to pay and may also justify future payments levied on harvesters. The aim of the present article is to estimate a model for determining citizens’ willingness to pay for a harvesting permit in a forest in Andalusia (Spain) using contingent valuation methods. Results show that mean willingness to pay is 22.61 Euros (USD28.18) per harvester and season. This amount depends on several socioeconomic factors and preferences related to harvesters’ experiences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management Strategies for Forest Ecosystem Services)
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