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30.05.2016 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 13/2017

Biodiversity and Conservation 13/2017

Spatially combining wood production and recreation with biodiversity conservation

Zeitschrift:
Biodiversity and Conservation > Ausgabe 13/2017
Autoren:
P. Vangansbeke, H. Blondeel, D. Landuyt, P. De Frenne, L. Gorissen, K. Verheyen
Wichtige Hinweise
Communicated by Eckehard Brockerhoff, Hervé Jactel and Ian Thompson.
This is part of the special issue on ‘Forest biodiversity and ecosystem services’.

Abstract

Pine plantations established on former heathland are common throughout Western Europe and North America. Such areas can continue to support high biodiversity values of the former heathlands in the more open areas, while simultaneously delivering ecosystem services such as wood production and recreation in the forested areas. Spatially optimizing wood harvest and recreation without threatening the biodiversity values, however, is challenging. Demand for woody biomass is increasing but other pressures on biodiversity including climate change, habitat fragmentation and air pollution are intensifying too. Strategies to spatially optimize different ecosystem services with biodiversity conservation are still underexplored in the research literature. Here we explore optimization scenarios for advancing ecosystem stewardship in a pine plantation in Belgium. Point observations of seven key indicator species were used to estimate habitat suitability using generalized linear models. Based on the habitat suitability and species’ characteristics, the spatially-explicit conservation value of different forested and open patches was determined with the help of a spatially-explicit conservation planning tool. Recreational pressure was quantified by interviewing forest managers and with automated trail counters. The impact of wood production and recreation on the conservation of the indicator species was evaluated. We found trade-offs between biodiversity conservation and both wood production and recreation, but were able to present a final scenario that combines biodiversity conservation with a restricted impact on both services. This case study illustrates that innovative forest management planning can achieve better integration of the delivery of different forest ecosystem services such as wood production and recreation with biodiversity conservation.

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