Planning methods

Forest management choices have a strong impact on the magnitude of ecosystem services (ES) provided by mountain forests. Already at the stand level there is a large variety of possible management decisions (e.g. type and timing of silvicultural intervention, selection of harvesting techniques,…). This amplifies for whole mountain landscapes. Future mountain forest management will have to operate under rapidly changing environmental, regulatory, and socio-economic conditions, so that the empiricism of the past as a management paradigm is unsuitable and calls for new and innovative approaches. The concept of adaptive management, as described by Walters and Holling (1990), is a highly suitable approach for such decision making. It can be combined with the rational planning process as proposed by Mintzberg et al (1976) and frequently recommended for sustainable forest management as well. In ARANGE, this generic planning and decision making approach is used as a general guideline to evaluate current multifunctional management and to develop improved management strategies for emerging climatic and socio-economic conditions.

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