An eco-efficient and economical optimum evaluation technique for the forest road networks: the case of the mountainous forest of Metsovo, Greece

  • Stergios Tampekis
  • Fani Samara
  • Stavros Sakellariou
  • Athanassios Sfougaris
  • Olga Christopoulou


The sustainable forest management can be achieved only through environmentally sound and economically efficient and feasible forest road networks and transportation systems that can potentially improve the multi-functional use of forest resources. However, road network planning and construction suggest long-term finance that require a capital investment (cash outflow), which would be equal to the value of the total revenue flow (cash inflow) over the whole lifecycle project. This paper emphasizes in an eco-efficient and economical optimum evaluation method for the forest road networks in the mountainous forest of Metsovo, Greece. More specifically, with the use of this technique, we evaluated the forest roads’ (a) total construction costs, (b) annual maintenance cost, and (c) log skidding cost. In addition, we estimated the total economic value of forest goods and services that are lost from the forest roads’ construction. Finally, we assessed the optimum eco-efficient and economical forest roads densities based on linear equations that stem from the internal rate of return method (IRR) and have been presented graphically. Data analysis and its presentation are achieved with the contribution of geographic information systems (GIS). The technique which is described in this study can be for the decision makers an attractive and useful implement in order to select the most eco-friendly and economical optimum solution to plan forest road network or to evaluate the existing forest transportation systems. Hence, with the use of this method, we can combine not only the multi-objective utilization of natural resources but also the environmental protection of forest ecosystems.


Forest road networks Forest transportation systems Eco-efficient Economical Optimum Evaluation 


  1. Abdi, E., Majnounian, B., Darvishsefat, A., Mashayekhi, Z., & Session, J. (2009). A GIS-MCE based model for forest road planning. Journal of Forest Science, 55(4), 171–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Akay, A. E. (2006). Minimizing total costs of forest roads with computer-aided design model. Sadhana-Academy Proceedings in Engineering. Sciences, 31(5), 621–633.Google Scholar
  3. Akay, A. E., Erdas, O., Reis, M., & Yuksel, A. (2008). Estimating sediment yield from a forest road network by using a sediment prediction model and GIS techniques. Building and Environment, 43, 687–695.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Akay, A. E., Wing, M. G., Sivrikaya, F., & Sakar, D. (2012). A GIS-based decision support system for determining the shortest and safest route to forest fires: a case study in Mediterranean region of turkey. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 184(3), 1391–1407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Albanis, Κ., Xanthopoulos, G., Skouteri, A., Theodoridis, N., Christodolou, A., & Palaskas, D. (2015). Analytical Manual for the assessment of total forest value in Greece, Forest Research Institute of Athens, Hellenic Agricultural Organization “DEMETER”,εγχειριδιο_μεθοδολογιασ_εκτιμησησ_αξιασ_δασικησ_γη.pdf. (Greek).
  6. Bont, L. (2012). Spatially explicit optimization of forest harvest and transportation system layout under steep slope conditions. ETH Zurich: Doctor of Sciences Thesis.Google Scholar
  7. Boston, K. (2016). The potential effects of forest roads on the environment and mitigating their impacts. Curr For Rep 2016, 2(4), 215–222.Google Scholar
  8. Budge, K., Leifeld, J., Hiltbrunner, E., & Fuhrer, J. (2011). Alpine grassland soils contain large proportion of labile carbon but indicate long turnover times. BG, 8(7), 1911–1923.Google Scholar
  9. Coffin, A. W. (2007). From roadkill to road ecology: a review of the ecological effects of roads. Journal of Transport Geography, 15(5), 396–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Costanza, R., d’Arge, R., De Groot, R., Farberk, S., Grasso, M., Hannon, B., Limburg, K., Naeem, S., O’Neill, R., Paruelo, J., Raskin, R., Sutton, P., & van den Belt, M. (1997). The value of the world’s ecosystem services and natural capital. Nature, 387, 23–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Croitoru, L. (2007a). Valuing the non-timber forest products in the Mediterranean region. Ecol Econom, 63, 768–775.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Croitoru, L. (2007b). How much are Mediterranean forests worth? For. Policy Econ, 9, 536–545.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dietz, P., Knigge, W., & Löffler, H. (1984). Walderschliessung ein Lehrbuch für Studium und Praxis unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Waldwegebaus (p. 426). Parey: Hamburg etc.Google Scholar
  14. Epstein, R., Morales, R., Seron, J., & Weintraub, A. (1999). Use of OR systems in the Chilean forest industries. Interfaces, 29(1), 7–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Epstein, R., Weintraub, A., Sessions, J. B., Sessions, J., Sapunar, P., Nieto, E., Bustamante, F., and Musante, H. (2001). PLANEX: a system to identify landing locations and access. In International Mountain Logging and 11th Pacific Northwest Skyline Symposium, eds. P. SCHIESS and F. KROGSTAD, 190–193. Seattle. University of Washingthon, College of Forest Resources.Google Scholar
  16. Epstein, R., Weintraub, A., Sapunar, P., Nieto, E., Sessions, J. B., Sessions, J., Bustamante, F., & Musante, H. (2006). A combinatorial heuristic approach for solving real-size machinery location and road design problems in forestry planning. Operations Research, 54(6), 1017–1027.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Epstein, R., Rönnqvist, M., and Weintraub, A. (2007). Forest transportation. In Handbook of operations research in natural resources. Springer: p. 391–403.Google Scholar
  18. Ezzati, S., Najafi, A., & Bettinger, P. (2016). Finding feasible harvest zones in mountainous areas using integrated spatial multi-criteria decision analysis. Land Use Policy, 59, 478–491.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. FEK, Issue Β’/142/28–1-2014. Hellenic National regulations and the Timber Assignment Prices, (Greek).
  20. Forsyth, A. R., Bubb, K. A., & Cox, M. E. (2006). Runoff, sediment loss and water quality from forest roads in a Southeast Queensland coastal plain Pinus plantation. Forest Ecology and Management, 221(1–3), 194–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fu, B., Newham, L. T., & Ramos-Scharron, C. E. (2010). A review of surface erosion and sediment delivery models for unsealed roads. Environmental Modelling and Software, 25, 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Geneletti, D. (2003). Biodiversity impact assessment of roads: an approach based on ecosystem rarity. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 23(3), 343–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ghaffariyan, M. R., Stampfer, K., Sessions, J., Durston, T., Kuehmaier, M., & Kanzian, C. (2010). Road network optimization using heuristic and linear programming. Journal of Forest Science, 56(3), 137–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Grêt-Regamey, A., Walz, A., & Bebi, P. (2008). Valuing ecosystem services for sustainable landscape Planning in Alpine regions. Mountain Research and Development, 28(2), 156–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gulci, S., Akay, A. E., Oguz, H., & Gulci, N. (2017). Assessment of the road impacts on coniferous species within the road-effect zone using NDVI analysis approach. Fresenius Environmental Bulletin, 26(2a), 1654–1662.Google Scholar
  26. Gumus, S. (2009). Constitution of the forest road evaluation form for Turkish forestry. African Journal of Biotechnology, 8(20), 5389–5394.Google Scholar
  27. Hafner, F. (1971). Forstlicher Strassen- und Wegebau, 2., neu bearbeitete Auflage Ed. Wien. Oesterreichischer Agrarverlag. p. 360Google Scholar
  28. Han, H.-S., Oneil, E., Bergman, R. D., Eastin, I. L., & Johnson, L. R. (2015). Cradle-to-gate life cycle impacts of redwood forest resource harvesting in northern California. Journal of Cleaner Production, 99, 217–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hayati, E., Majnounian, B., & Abdi, E. (2012). Qualitative evaluation and optimization of Forest road network to minimize total costs and environmental impacts. iForest, 5(3), 121–125. Scholar
  30. Heinimann, H. R. (1998). A computer model to differentiate skidder and cable-yarder based road network concepts on steep slopes. J For Res (Japan), 3, 1–9.Google Scholar
  31. Heinimann, H. R. (2017). Forest road network and transportation engineering—state and perspectives. Croat J For Eng, 38(2), 155–173.Google Scholar
  32. Heinimann, H. R., & Breschan, J. (2012). Pre-harvest assessment based on LiDAR data. Croat J For Eng, 33(2), 169–180.Google Scholar
  33. Hruza, P., Kotaskova, P., & Drapela, K. (2013). Inclusion of the ecological criterion in the design of forest road network and its effect on the parameters of forest accessing. Afr J Agric Res, 8(9), 844–854. Scholar
  34. Ibisch, P. L., Hoffmann, M. T., Kreft, S., Pe’er, G., Kati, V., Biber-Freudenberger, L., DellaSala, D. A., Vale, M. M., Hobson, P. R., & Selva, N. (2016). A global map of roadless areas and their conservation status. Science, 354(6318), 1423–1427.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Jaafari, A., Najafi, A., Rezaeian, J., Sattarian, A., & Ghajar, I. (2015). Planning road networks in landslide-prone areas: a case study from the northern forests of Iran. Land Use Policy, 47, 198–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Jordán-López, A., Martínez-Zavala, L., & Bellinfante, N. (2009). Impact of different parts of unpaved forest roads on runoff and sediment yield in a Mediterranean area. Sci Total Environ, 407(2), 937–944.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kroth, W. (1973). Entscheidungsgrundlagen bei Walderschlieflungsinvestitionen. Forstwiss Cent bl, 92(1), 132–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kuonen, V. (1983). Wald- und Güterstrassen Planung - Projektierung - Bau (p. 743). Eigenverlag: Pfaffhausen.Google Scholar
  39. Larsen, M. C., & Parks, J. E. (1997). How wide is a road? The association of roads and mass-wasting in a forested mountain environment. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 22(9), 835–848.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Makhdoum, M. F. (2008). Landscape ecology or environmental studies (land ecology) (European versus Anglo-Saxon schools of thought). J. Int. Environ. Appl. Sci, 3(3), 147–160.Google Scholar
  41. Mantau, U., Wong, J., & Curl, S. (2007). Towards a taxonomy of forest goods and services. Small–scale For, 6, 391–409.Google Scholar
  42. Matthews, D. M. (1939). The use of unit cost data in estimating logging costs and planning logging operations. Journal of Forestry, 37(10), 783–787.Google Scholar
  43. Matthews, D. M. (1942). Cost control in the logging industry (p. 374). American forestry series: New York, McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  44. Merlo, M., & Croitoru, L. (2005). Valuing Mediterranean forest towards total economic value (p. 406). CABI: Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Meyer, S., Leifeld, J., Bahn, M., & Fuhrer, J. (2012). Free and protected soil organic carbon dynamics respond differently to abandonment of mountain grassland. BG, 9(2), 853–865.Google Scholar
  46. Naghdi, R., Babapour, R. (2009). Planning and evaluating of forest roads network with respect to environmental aspects via GIS application (case study: Shafaroud forest, northern Iran). Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Environmental and Computer Science. Dubai. UAE. 28–30 Dec. 2009, pp 424–427.Google Scholar
  47. Najafi, A., Sobhani, H., Saeed, A., Makhdom, M., & Mohajer, M. M. (2008). Planning and assessment of alternative forest road and skidding networks. Croat J For Eng, 29(1), 63–73.Google Scholar
  48. Olsson, L. (2004). Optimisation of forest road investments and the roundwood supply chain. Department of Forest Economics Umea, Doctoral thesis, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Umea, Acta Uni Agric Suec Silv, 1401-6230; 310. ISBN 91-576-6544-3.Google Scholar
  49. Olsson, L., & Lohmander, P. (2005). Optimal forest transportation with respect to road investments. For Policy Econ, 7(3), 369–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Parsakhoo, A., Lotfalian, M., & Hosseini, S. A. (2010). Forest roads planning and construction in Iranian forestry. J Civ Eng Constr Technol, 1(1), 14–18.Google Scholar
  51. Parsakhoo, A., Mostafa, M., Shataee, S., & Lotfalian, M. (2017). Decision support system to find a skid trail network for extracting marked trees. Journal of Forest Science, 63(2), 62–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Pentek, T., Poršinsky, T., Šušnjar, M., Stankić, I., Nevečerel, H., & Šporčić, M. (2008). Eco-efficient sound harvesting technologies in commercial forests in the area of Northern Velebit—functional terrain classification. Period Biol, 110(2), 127–135.Google Scholar
  53. Ramos-Scharrón, C. E., & MacDonald, L. H. (2007). Runoff and suspended sediment yields from an unpaved road segment, St. John, US Virgin Islands. Hydrological Processes, 21(1), 35–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Robinson, C., Duinker, P. N., & Beazley, K. F. (2010). A conceptual framework for understanding, assessing, and mitigating ecological effects of forest roads. Environmental Reviews, 18(NA), 61–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Ryan, T., Phillips, H., Ramsay, J., & Dempsey, J. (2004). Forest road manual: guidelines for the design, construction and management of forest roads. Dublin: COFORD ISBN 1902696328.Google Scholar
  56. Segebaden, G. V. (1964). Studies of cross-country transport distances and road net extension. Studia Forestalia Suecica, 14, 1–70.Google Scholar
  57. Soom, E. (1952). Rückafwand und Wegabestand beim Rücken von Brennholz. Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Forstwesen. 102 (8).Google Scholar
  58. Stückelberger, J. A., Heinimann, H. R., Chung, W. (2004). Improving the effectiveness of automatic grid cell based road route location procedures. In: Clark, M. (Ed.): A Joint Conference of IUFRO 3.06 Forest Operations under Mountainous Conditions and the 12th International Mountain Logging Conference. June 13–16, 2004, FERIC, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. CD-ROM.Google Scholar
  59. Stückelberger, J. A., Heinimann, H. R., & Burlet, E. C. (2006). Modelling spatial variability in the life-cycle costs of low-volume forest roads. In: Eur J For Res, 125(4), 377–390. Scholar
  60. Stückelberger, J., Heinimann, H. R., & Chung, W. (2007). Improved road network design models with the consideration of various link patterns and road design elements. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 37(11), 2281–2298. Scholar
  61. Sundberg, U. (1953). Studier i skogsbrukets transporter. Svenska Skogsvårdsföreningens Tidskrift. Journal of the Swedish Forestry Society, 51(1), 15–72.Google Scholar
  62. Sundberg, U. (1963). The economic road standard, road spacing and related questions. Some views on the theory of planning a forest road network in non-alpine conditions. In Proceedings, Symposium on the Planning of Forest Communication Networks (Roads and Cables), 231-247. Genève. Joint committee on Forest working techniques and training of Forest Workers.Google Scholar
  63. Tampekis, S., Sakellariou, S., Samara, F., Sfougaris, A., Jaegrer, D., & Christopoulou, O. (2015). Mapping the optimal forest road network based on the multicriteria evaluation technique: the case study of Mediterranean Island of Thassos in Greece. Environ Monit and Assess, 187(11), 687–704. Scholar
  64. Tan, J. (1992). Planning a forest road network by spatial data handling-network routing system. Acta For Fenn, (227), 1–85.Google Scholar
  65. TEEB, (2010). The economics of ecosystems and biodiversity: Mainstreaming the economics of nature: A synthesis of the approach, conclusions and recommendations of TEEB. LinkClick.Aspx?Fileticket= bYhDohL_TuM%3d&tabid=1278&mid=2357.
  66. Wegner, K.F. (1984). Forestry handbook, Second Ed. New York etc. Wiley. p. 1335Google Scholar
  67. Xie, G., Li, W., Xiao, Y., Zhang, B., Lu, C., An, K., Wang, J., Xu, K., & Wang, J. (2010). Forest ecosystem services and their values in Beijing. Chinese Geogr Sci, 20(1), 51–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Žáček, J., & Klč, P. (2008). Forest transport roads according to natural forest regions in the Czech Republic. Journal of Forest Science, 54(2), 73–83.Google Scholar
  69. Zamora-Cristales, R., Sessions, J., Boston, K., & Murphy, G. (2015). Economic optimization of forest biomass processing and transport in the Pacific Northwest USA. Forest Science, 61(2), 220–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Planning and Regional DevelopmentUniversity of ThessalyVolosGreece
  2. 2.Department of Agriculture Crop Production and Rural EnvironmentUniversity of ThessalyVolosGreece

Personalised recommendations