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Forest decision support systems for the analysis of ecosystem services provisioning at the landscape scale under global climate and market change scenarios

Abstract

Sustainable forest management is driving the development of forest decision support systems (DSSs) to include models and methods concerned with climate change, biodiversity and various ecosystem services (ESs). The future development of forest landscapes is very much dependent on how forest owners act and what goes on in the wider world; thus, models are needed that incorporate these aspects. The objective of this study is to assess how nine European state-of-the-art forest DSSs cope with these issues. The assessment focuses on the ability of these DSSs to generate landscape-level scenarios to explore the output of current and alternative forest management models (FMMs) in terms of a range of ESs and the robustness of these FMMs in the face of increased risks and uncertainty. Results show that all DSSs assessed in this study can be used to quantify the impacts of both stand- and landscape-level FMMs on the provision of a range of ESs over a typical planning horizon. DSSs can be used to assess how timber price trends may impact that provision over time. The inclusion of forest owner behavior as reflected by the adoption of specific FMMs seems to be also in the reach of all DSSs. Nevertheless, some DSSs need more data and development of models to estimate the impacts of climate change on biomass production and other ESs. Spatial analysis functionality needs to be further developed for a more accurate assessment of the landscape-level output of ESs from both current and alternative FMMs.

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Acknowledgements

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under Grant Agreement No. 676754. We further acknowledge the Portuguese Science Foundation (FCT) for supporting Miguel Bugalho by a Principal Investigator contract (IF/01171/2014), for funding the Forest Research Centre (UID/AGR/00239/2013) and for the PhD Grant of Marco Marto (SFRH/BD/108225/2015).

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Correspondence to Eva-Maria Nordström or Maarten Nieuwenhuis.

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Nordström, EM., Nieuwenhuis, M., Başkent, E.Z. et al. Forest decision support systems for the analysis of ecosystem services provisioning at the landscape scale under global climate and market change scenarios. Eur J Forest Res 138, 561–581 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10342-019-01189-z

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Keywords

  • ALTERFOR
  • Biodiversity
  • Forest management models
  • Forest owner behavior