Nature-based forest management—Where are we going?: Elaborating forest development types in and with practice

David Parastatidis's picture
Submitted by David Parastatidis on November 19, 2018 - 5:43pm
Forest Ecology and Management - Vol. 238

The decision to transform “classical” age-class forests (plantation forestry) into more nature-based forest stand structures implied a paradigmatic shift in the Danish state owned forests and their management. In order to facilitate this process of change, scientists were employed by the Danish Forest and Nature Agency which enabled interactions with the professionals in the forest over a nearly 2-year period. Very soon it became evident that the main questions were not so much related to the process of shifting from age-class forests to nature-based management, but more to the evident lack of settled long-term goals in terms of stand structure and dynamics of the “future” forests. Realizing this constraint, forest development types (FDT) and their illustration by means of profile diagrams were elaborated in an adaptive, participatory process involving people both inside and outside the organisation. FDT describes long-term goals for forest development on a given locality (climate and soil conditions) in order to accomplish specific long-term aims of functionality. It is based upon an analysis of the silvicultural possibilities in combination with the aspirations of future forest functions. It will serve as a guide for future silvicultural activities in order to “channel” the actual forest stand in the desired direction. Looking through the lens of “social learning” this paper reflects on and discusses the participatory, bottom-up process in which the knowledge of professionals and scientists was mixed in the development of long-term goals for stand structures and dynamics in nature-based forest management. Specifically, the use of FDT scenarios and their illustration by means of profile diagrams as tools to organise and ease communication in this learning process is addressed and presented as an integrative, flexible and easily comprehensible concept for communicating long-term goals for stand development in nature-based forest management.

Larsen, J. B., & Nielsen, A. B. (2007). Nature-based forest management—Where are we going? Forest Ecology and Management, 238(1–3), 107–117.
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