Due to climate change, forests are likely to face new hazards, which may require adaptation of our existing silvicultural practices. However, it is difficult to imagine a forest management approach that can simultaneously minimize all risks of damage. Multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) has been developed to help decision makers choose between actions that require reaching a compromise among criteria of different weights. We adapted this method and produced a multicriteria risk analysis (MCRA) to compare the risk of damage associated with various forest management systems with a range of management intensity. The objective was to evaluate the effect of four forest management alternatives (FMAs) (i.e., close to nature, extensive management with combined objectives, intensive even-aged plantations, and short-rotation forestry for biomass production) on biotic and abiotic risks of damage in eight regional case studies combining three forest biomes (Boreal, Continental, Atlantic) and five tree species (Eucalyptus globulus, Pinus pinaster, Pinus sylvestris, Picea sitchensis, and Picea abies) relevant to wood production in Europe. Specific forest susceptibility to a series of abiotic (wind, fire, and snow) and biotic (insect pests, pathogenic fungi, and mammal herbivores) hazards were defined by expert panels and subsequently weighted by corresponding likelihood. The PROMETHEE ranking method was applied to rank the FMAs from the most to the least at risk. Overall, risk was lower in short-rotation forests designed to produce wood biomass, because of the reduced stand susceptibility to the most damaging hazards. At the opposite end of the management intensity gradient, close-to-nature systems also had low overall risk, due to lower stand value exposed to damage. Intensive even-aged forestry appeared to be subject to the greatest risk, irrespective of tree species and bioclimatic zone. These results seem to be robust as no significant differences in relative ranking of the four FMAs were detected between the combinations of forest biomes and tree species.
- stand management
- promethee method
- strong winds
Jactel, H., Branco, M., Duncker, P., Gardiner, B., Grodzki, W., Langström, B., Moreira, F., Netherer, S., Nicoll, B., Orazio, C., Piou, D., Schelhaas, M. J., & Tojic, K. (2012). A multi-criteria risk analysis to evaluate impacts of forest management alternatives on forest health in Europe. Ecology and Society, 17(4), . https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-04897-170452