High boreal forest multifunctionality requires continuous cover forestry as a dominant management
Eyvindson, Kyle; Duflot, Rémi; Triviño, Mária; Blattert, Clemens; Potterf, Mária; Mönkkönen, Mikko (2021). High boreal forest multifunctionality requires continuous cover forestry as a dominant management. Land Use Policy, 100, 104918. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2020.104918
Published inLand Use Policy
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Intensive extraction of forest resources lowers biodiversity and endangers the functioning of forest ecosystems. As such, alternative management regimes have emerged, aspiring to promote forest biodiversity and nature protection in managed forests. Among them, continuous cover forestry, (i.e. selective logging), has received considerable attention and is being promoted by some researchers and NGOs. Yet, the full consequences of banning clear-cuts (i.e. rotation forestry) and replacing it entirely with continuous cover forest remains uncertain. We explore how restricting forest management alternatives (either rotation forestry or continuous cover forestry) will affect landscape-scale forest multifunctionality at a range of harvesting levels. We evaluate multifunctionality as a combination of recreational ecosystem services, climate change mitigation, habitat availability for vertebrates, and red-listed dead wood dependent species. Our results show that restricting forest management alternatives have a negative impact on forest multifunctionality at all harvesting levels when compared to the case with no restrictions. Using only continuous cover forestry management alternatives resulted in higher multifunctionality than the case when only rotation forestry management alternatives were used. We also show that maximizing multifunctionality using all management alternatives led to high proportion of continuous cover forestry over the landscape. We conclude that banning clear-cuts does not promote forest biodiversity and multifunctionality at the landscape scale, especially if there is a requirement for high economic benefits from the forest. However, we recommend that continuous cover forestry should be considered as a primary management alternative, with selective application of rotation forestry wisely planned at the landscape scale. ...