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Management of oak forests: striking a balance between timber production, biodiversity and cultural services

Löf, Magnus, Brunet, Jörg, Filyushkina, Anna, Lindbladh, Matts, Skovsgaard, Jens Peter, Felton, Adam
TheInternational journal of biodiversity science, ecosystem services & management 2016 v.12 no.1-2 pp. 59-73
Quercus, biodiversity, costs and returns, ecosystem services, forests, habitats, income, stand management, statistics, sustainable forestry, timber production, wood, Sweden
Identification of the ecosystem services provided by oak-dominated forests in southern Sweden is a prerequisite for ensuring their conservation and sustainable management. These forests seem well-suited for multiple-use forestry, but knowledge is limited regarding how to manage them for multiple uses. Management for the production of high-value timber species like oaks and management to conserve biodiversity, or for cultural services can be in conflict with each other. This study evaluates the capacity of three contrasting management regimes to provide societies with economic revenue from timber production, habitats for biodiversity and cultural services, and the study analyses associated trade-offs and synergies. The three regimes were: intensive oak timber production (A), combined management for both timber production and biodiversity (B) and biodiversity conservation without management intervention (C). We synthesized relevant scientific literature, governmental statistics and grey literature. Our assessments identified that Regime A provided the highest levels of economic returns and the lowest level of biodiversity. Regime C provided higher levels of habitat provision but at expense of wood production and cultural services. In contrast, Regime B provided a balanced delivery of timber production, biodiversity conservation and cultural services. We identified several stand-management options which provide comparatively synergistic outcomes in ecosystem services delivery. The use of these management options in combination with more traditional stand-management approaches may be a more effective means of achieving sustainable forest goods and services. EDITED BY Nicholas Brokaw