The Economics of Continuous Cover Forestry

  • Thomas KnokeEmail author
Part of the Managing Forest Ecosystems book series (MAFE, volume 23)


This chapter attempts to provide improved understanding of the economics of continuous cover forestry (CCF), which constitutes an interesting area of research and is of considerable practical relevance. We first present a review of recent economic studies, which shows that the economically optimal silvicultural system often converges (sooner or later) towards CCF, even if the starting situation is even-aged. If appropriate regeneration may be produced by the adult trees and sufficient recruitment fills up the smallest diameter class, it is often optimal never to clear-cut a forest stand. Subsequently, economic pros and cons of CCF are discussed. Among the economic pros of CCF we find: (1) Regular and frequent net revenues even at the stand-level; (2) possibility to harvest every tree according to its individual financial maturity; and, (3) enhanced stand resistance combined with increased management flexibility. However, the economies of scale may play against CCF, although actual studies do not provide evidence for this assumption. The economies of scale may also be seen as a reason for the often prevailing skepticism of practitioners against CCF. Future research should thus clarify the importance of the economies of scale: Which infrastructure (e.g. the road density) and personnel would be required by various silvicultural systems? How could the results of the up-to-date economic studies be utilized in practice? Moreover, future research must also address the risks and uncertainties as well as diversification effects, such as diversified tree species and harvesting strategies, which so far have rarely been considered.


Forest Management Forest Owner European Beech Timber Price Silvicultural System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I am grateful to Laura Carlson for the language editing of the manuscript and to the German Research Foundation (DFG) for generously funding this research (KN 586/7-1).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Forest ManagementTechnische Universität MünchenFreisingGermany

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