Forestry management strategies changing
Rotation lengths, thinning years and intensities are usually the focus of forestry management guidelines. However, a new study has suggested that these might not be the best areas to focus on.
Funded by the EU and conducted by Finnish researchers, the study found that the uncertainty of economic development and forest growth mean that an alternative approach could be beneficial.
Using optimisation approaches for the management of a mixed stand of Scots pine, Norway spruce and birch in the northern boreal forest area, the team looked at the effects of using fixed cutting years, basal areas and diameters, as well as the results of an adaptive approach that produces rules on how to react to the actual state of nature.
Timo Pukkala explained the results on the research, which showed that flexibility is often more productive: “The study showed what clever forest landowners already know. When future round wood prices and uses are unknown, the landowner should continuously have several tree species and timber assortments in his forest.
“Growing only spruce in even-aged stands is risky business. We hope that our study will promote diversified forest management, leading to diversified forest structures.”
New methods of managing forestry are under constant discussion at the moment, especially as the sustainability of land and forests grows in importance.