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The emergence of forest age structures as determined by uneven-aged stands and age class forests

Coordes, Renke
Journal of forest economics 2016 v.25 pp. 160-179
even-aged management, forests, markets, models, tree growth, trees, uneven-aged management, uneven-aged stands
This article explores the question under which conditions trees are managed in even- or uneven-aged stands or age class forests, respectively. The problem of uneven-aged management within stands and forests can be reduced to the analysis of simultaneous optimal times of harvest and regeneration of interdependently growing trees. Restricting attention to a market environment, a forest investment model is developed which accounts for the opportunity to manage trees or stands individually. As a consequence, age class forests evolve as the optimal compromise between two opposing effects. They allow for a combination of the advantages of uneven-aged management by utilizing differences in tree growth on a larger scale and of even-aged management by exploiting locally effective positive inter-tree dependencies on a smaller scale. Accordingly, the emergence of the forest structure is determined by the dynamics in the balance of value growth and impact rate differences.