Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Biodiversity in production forests can be improved without large costs

12.02.2014
Forest management is based on recommendations that are supposed to maximize economic revenues. However, in 40% of cases a better economic result would be achieved by neglecting some of the recommendations. This would also greatly benefit biodiversity.

These results were obtained by a research group lead by Professor Mikko Mönkkönen at the University Jyväskylä. The group studied a production forest landscape encompassing 68 square kilometers of land and more than 30,000 forest stands in Central Finland.

The research project aimed at revealing the potential of a forest landscape to simultaneously provide habitats for species and produce economic returns.

"Many forest-owners are interested in getting money from harvesting their forests but simultaneously retaining recreational values and habitats for species," says Mikko Mönkkönen. Recently, societies have started paying attention to a variety of goods and benefits people may get from forests. For example, forests capture and store carbon from the atmosphere and thereby counteract climate change caused by human carbon emissions. All in all, it is important to reconcile alternative uses of forests as they are not necessarily in a very strong conflict, as our study shows. Simultaneous consideration and optimization among alternative objectives turned out to be beneficial.

In the study, researchers of biological and environmental science collaborated with researchers of multi-objective decision making from the field of information technology. The team projected forest growth 50 years into the future with alternative management regimes. The management regimes were compared from the point of view of six forest species, such as the capercaillie, hazel grouse, flying squirrel, and two woodpecker species. Also habitats for six groups of dead-wood dependent red-listed species groups were examined. The research aimed at finding economical ways to maintain species habitats in a forest landscape and to reveal an optimal combination of management regimes that would maximize the habitat availability at a given level of economic returns.

Compensating forest owners with the METSO funding

"Achieving an optimal solution requires a combination of management regimes and careful landscape-level planning," says Mönkkönen. He estimates that the multi-objective planning alone results in considerable improvements in species habitat availability without any extra costs.

"Small additional investments into biodiversity may yield large benefits. In particular, increasing habitat availability for the capercaillie is relatively inexpensive," says Mönkkönen. Providing dead-wood associated species with more habitats tended to be more expensive because this would involve some refraining from harvesting. Giving up silvicultural thinnings turned out to be a cost-effective measure to improve habitats for numerous species in production forests.

According to the Finnish government's decision, 180 million euro will be spent in 2008–2016 (the METSO program) on maintaining biodiversity in mostly privately owned southern Finnish forests. Mönkkönen suggests that a potentially efficient way to use the METSO funding would be to compensate forest-owners for economic losses from not thinning their forests.

"Small investments may provide large biodiversity benefits," he explains.

The first results of the study have been published in the Journal of Environmental Management. The research continues with funding from the Academy of Finland.

For more information, please contact Mikko Mönkkönen, Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä. Tel: +358 50 441 3682, e-mail: mikko.monkkonen@jyu.fi

https://www.jyu.fi/bioenv/en/divisions/eko/research/biodivcons/SpatEco/spateco

Mikko Mönkkönen | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jyu.fi

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Crop achilles' heel costs farmers 10 percent of potential yield
24.01.2017 | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht How much drought can a forest take?
20.01.2017 | University of California - Davis

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists spin artificial silk from whey protein

X-ray study throws light on key process for production

A Swedish-German team of researchers has cleared up a key process for the artificial production of silk. With the help of the intense X-rays from DESY's...

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Breaking the optical bandwidth record of stable pulsed lasers

24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Choreographing the microRNA-target dance

24.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Spanish scientists create a 3-D bioprinter to print human skin

24.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>