European mountain forests are diverse, with each mountain region featuring a distinct set of environmental conditions, tree species, demands for ecosystem services (ES) and related management goals of landowners as well as specific risks and uncertainties. Therefore, multifunctional management must be assessed and optimal strategies developed specifically for the different European mountain regions.
ARANGE research will be carried out in seven mountain regions across the continent covering the most important forest types in the main mountain ranges and representing distinct biophysical and governance settings.
Each case study covers a minimum of 50-100 km2 of forested mountainous landscape. Several spatial levels are distinguished within each case study:
- an administrative district (or similar) as the largest level, including multiple landowners
- a functional unit representing a forest management unit (FMU)
- a small catchment/hillslope, and
- the stand level
In ARANGE multifunctionality of forest management will be addressed within a 2011-2100 time horizon at a range of spatial scales that are relevant in practical mountain forest management, such that practically relevant recommendations for policy makers and resource managers can be derived.
The case study regions will serve four main purposes: (1) to promote interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research efforts in the analysis and development of multifunctional mountain forest management, (2) to provide the data and information base to develop and test forest models and methods to quantify ES, and to promote participatory model-data fusion for management planning, (3) to demonstrate the applicability of the planning tools (see below; clearly defined decision making problems, data, models, methods selection, analysis, results, stakeholder interaction), (4) to produce per case study region both stand and landscape level results for generic portfolios of ES. Broad regional stakeholder panels will be established to secure ample relevance and applicability of the research results.