Forest Management Practices and their relevance in case study areas

In a research, OptFor-EU investigates forest management techniques in eight case study areas (Norway, Lithuania, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Romania, Spain, Italy).

The publication investigates the significance of these approaches, providing a detailed modelling methodology as well as a literature evaluation. In addition, it provides detailed explanations of current management strategies, as well as coverage of European forest types in the eight project countries. The study will be useful for the development of the OptFor-EU Decision Support System tool and as input to other models as it contains a simulation methodology including procedures for stand initialization and output variable definitions.

Ultimately, the results highlight diverse management practices and variations in forest types across the Case Study Areas (CSAs), with a significant portion of unmanaged forests influenced by various factors. The CSAs are up to 48,000 km2 in size, that, coupled with the fact that most EFT occur in several CSAs, allowed for a comprehensive assessment, comparisons and cross-regional analysis of forest types.

This report includes a large variety of FMPs across wide environmental (e.g. climate, soil, local tree species and their gene pool) and social gradients (e.g. ownership structure, markets for forest products, legal constraints), giving ideas for modifying current management practices to be tailored as adaptation measures to reach user-defined targets.

The next steps involve simulating Business-As-Usual (BAU) and no management (NOM) scenarios, linking CSAs to specific models, and developing new Forest Management Practices (FMPs). This will lay the groundwork for educated decision-making in sustainable forest management, which will shape future forestry and climate resilience policy.

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