European Journal of Forest Research

, Volume 136, Issue 3, pp 493–509 | Cite as

Silvicultural strategies for increased timber harvesting in a Central European mountain landscape

  • Christian TemperliEmail author
  • Golo Stadelmann
  • Esther Thürig
  • Peter Brang
Original Paper


The demand for wood as construction material, renewable source for energy and feedstock for chemicals is expected to increase. However, timber increments are currently only partly harvested in many European mountain regions, which may lead to supply shortages for local timber industries, decreases in forest resistance to disturbances and functioning as protection from gravitational hazards. Using an inventory-based forest simulator, we evaluated scenarios to increase wood mobilization in the 7105-km2 Swiss canton of Grisons for the period 2007–2106. Scenarios varied with respect to landscape-scale harvesting amounts and silvicultural strategies (low vs. high stand-scale treatment intensity) and accounted for regulations and incentives for protection forest management. With 50 and 100% increases of harvests, the current average growing stock of 319 m3 ha−1 was simulated to be reduced by 12 and 33%, respectively, until 2106 in protection forests of Northern Grisons, where management is prioritized due to subsidies. Outside protection forests and in Southern Grisons, growing stock was simulated to continually increase, which led to divergent developments in forest structure in- and outside protection forests and in the Northern and Southern Grisons. The effect of silvicultural strategies on simulated forest structure was small compared to the effect of future harvesting levels. We discuss opportunities and threats of decreasing management activities outside protection forests and advocate for incentives to promote natural regeneration also outside protection forests to safeguard long-term forest stability.


Empirical forest model MASSIMO Forest inventory European Alps Protection forest Timber mobilization Scenario analysis 



We thank Riet Gordon, Office of Forest and Natural Hazards of the Canton of Grisons, for his guidance during the development of management scenarios and critical assessments of simulation results. This research was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation’s 66th National Research Program (Grant No. 4066-40_136711).

Supplementary material

10342_2017_1048_MOESM1_ESM.docx (378 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 378 kb)


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSLBirmensdorfSwitzerland

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