, Volume 190, Issue 1, pp 57-74
Date: 05 Feb 2009

Management of the risk of wind damage in forestry: a graph-based Markov decision process approach

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Abstract

This study deals with the problem of including the risk of wind damage in long-term forestry management. A model based on Graph-Based Markov Decision Processes (GMDP) is suggested for development of silvicultural management policies. The model can both take stochastic wind events into account and be applied to forest estates containing a large number of stands. The model is demonstrated for a forest estate in southern Sweden. Treatment of the stands according to the management policy specified by the GMDP model increased the expected net present value (NPV) of the whole forest only slightly, less than 2%, under different wind-risk assumptions. Most of the stands were managed in the same manner as when the risk of wind damage was not considered. For the stands that were treated differently, however, the expected NPV increased by 3% to 8%.