Integrating pine honeydew honey production into forest management optimization

Abstract

Pine honeydew honey is an economically important non-wood forest product from eastern Mediterranean Pinus brutia forests, which are also important for timber production. Pine honey is produced by bees that feed on the honeydew secretions of Marchalina hellenica, a scale insect that infests pine stands and feeds on pine sap. The aim of this study was to optimize the joint production of pine honeydew honey and timber by maximizing the soil expectation value of pine stands. The simulation of P. brutia stand dynamics and timber production in healthy and infested stands is based on individual-tree growth and yield models that account for the effect of M. hellenica on tree- and stand-level growth and mortality. The optimization procedure uses a direct search method based on nonlinear programming. The results suggest that pine stands growing on good sites should be managed using rather short rotations and mainly aiming at timber production. In contrast, forest management in medium- and poor-quality sites should aim at longer rotations by taking advantage of the joint production of pine honey and timber assortments. Honey-oriented forest management can be much more profitable than timber production in stands growing on medium and poor sites. Pine honey represents an opportunity to increase the value and economic profitability of P. brutia forests.

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Correspondence to Sergio de-Miguel.

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Communicated by M. Moog.

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de-Miguel, S., Pukkala, T. & Yeşil, A. Integrating pine honeydew honey production into forest management optimization. Eur J Forest Res 133, 423–432 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10342-013-0774-2

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Keywords

  • Pinus brutia
  • Marchalina hellenica
  • Pest
  • Non-wood forest product
  • Forest planning
  • Trade-off
  • Joint production