Multifunctional Forestry on the Loess Plateau

  • Yanhui Wang
  • Pengtao Yu
  • Junzhong Wang
  • Lihong Xu
  • Karl-Heinz Feger
  • Wei Xiong
Chapter

Abstract

The various services/functions supplied by forests are illustrated according to their relevance to the people’s income, socioeconomic development, and environment safety, with some examples from the dry Loess Plateau in northwest China. The relationships between services of forests and between the service supply and demand are complex, not always synergic, but contrarily often competitive. In addition, the importance and relationships of services are site and region specific and vary with changing spatial scale and natural and socioeconomic conditions. On the Loess Plateau, soil protection against erosion is usually the dominant service required; water cycle regulation is very important but the drought limitation and water yield reduction after afforestation must be considered in forestry planning, forest establishment, and forest management; increasing the economic benefits through forest products and non-timber forest products is also desired. However, traditional forest management with a single purpose lowered the contribution of forestry to regional development. Therefore, trade-offs are necessary to optimise the overall value of services from forests and adjacent ecosystems per unit space to various stakeholders at different spatio-temporal scales. Through the promising multifunctional forestry, i.e. the rational regulation of forest quantity (cover), forest distribution, and forest quality (structure), the service competition can be balanced, in which the dominant services can be met but without too much loss of other services. The requirements and technical points in multifunctional management of forests and of the main forest types are briefly suggested.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yanhui Wang
    • 1
  • Pengtao Yu
    • 1
  • Junzhong Wang
    • 1
  • Lihong Xu
    • 1
  • Karl-Heinz Feger
    • 2
  • Wei Xiong
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Forest Ecology, Environment and ProtectionChinese Academy of ForestryBeijingChina
  2. 2.Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Institute of Soil Science and Site EcologyTU DresdenTharandtGermany

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