A decision support system for management planning of Eucalyptus plantations facing climate change


• Context

Climate change studies in Portugal point to warming winters and increase in the dry season length, impacting growth of plants. New tools are needed to increase the effectiveness of forest management planning under climate change.

• Aims

To develop research tools that may help forest managers cope with climate change challenges to long-term planning. These tools should help assess the impact of climate change on the timing and location of forest management options as well as on forest products flows.

• Methods

The proposed tools are based on information system architecture approaches that suggested a “Decision Support System” (DSS) with a modular structure to integrate (1) a management information module; (2) a prescription generator module that integrates a process-based model (Glob3PG); (3) a decision module; (4) a solution report module. To demonstrate the usefulness of the DSS, a eucalyptus forest with 1,722 stands (6,138 ha) in Portugal was considered. Two climate scenarios were used.

• Results

Potential wood supply decreased from 2.35 to 2.19 million m3, land value depreciated from 81.1 to 74.7 million Euro and total carbon stock decreased from 228 to 212 tons.

• Conclusions

The DSS demonstrated that the design of optimal management plans should take into account climate change.

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The authors would like to thank Dr. Alexandra Marques, João Pedro Pina and the ACHAR forest owner association for their help in the consultation of several forest stakeholders (e.g. forest owners, forest industry, local and central public administration, non-governmental organisations). The authors would like to thank the reviewers for their helpful comments and recommendations.


This research was supported by a Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme Fellowship within the 7th European Community Framework Programme (ForEAdapt project under grant agreement PIRSES-GA-2010-269257). It was also partially supported by Projects: PTDC/AGRCFL/64146/2006 “Decision support tools for integrating fire and forest management planning” and PTDC/AGR-FOR/4526/2012 “Models and Decision Support Systems for Addressing Risk and Uncertainty in Forest Planning (SADRI)” both funded by the Portuguese Science Foundation (FCT), MOTIVE “Models for Adaptive Forest Management” and INTEGRAL “Future-Oriented Integrated Management of European Forest Landscapes” both funded by 7th EU Framework Programme. The authors would also like to thank the financial support for a post-fellowship by the FCT (SFRH/BPD/63979/2009) and by the University of Eastern Finland.

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Correspondence to J. Garcia-Gonzalo.

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Handling Editor: Marc Hanewinkel

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Garcia-Gonzalo, J., Borges, J.G., Palma, J.H.N. et al. A decision support system for management planning of Eucalyptus plantations facing climate change. Annals of Forest Science 71, 187–199 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13595-013-0337-1

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  • Climate change
  • Decision support system
  • Management planning
  • Eucalypt
  • Forestry