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CONSIDERING THE RISK: FOREST POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR NORWAY SPRUCE MANAGEMENT

I. Silamikele, J. Katrevics, I. Desaine, E. Dubrovskis, I. Jaunslaviete
Wednesday 19 December 2018 by Libadmin2018

ABSTRACT

Climate change is affecting forests both directly – via increased frequency and/or severity of meteorological conditions, impacting tree growth and/or survival (e.g. wind storms, drought spells etc.) – and indirectly – via improved conditions for diseases and pests. Also interaction between the biotic and abiotic factors plays an important role. It is important to consider these circumstances in forest management policies to ensure that forest owners remain interested (financially motivated) in forest management. Such situation is needed: a) to support rural development, employment; b) to ensure timber flow for the industry, that is important for Latvia’s economy as well as use of renewable material, replacing fossil ones (ensuring, that climate change mitigation policies can be realized); c) to ensure as wide forest ownership, as possible, linking the people to the forest and thus to practical understanding on the forest management activities (safeguarding, that the forest sector is better understood in society). However, forest management risks are often discarded in economical calculations and policy development. Therefore aim of our study was to demonstrate the risks of Norway spruce forest management based on a practical example at a forest massive scale (cease study) over a period of time and provide policy recommendations for risk management. Forest massive, dominated by Norway spruce stands, and was selected in western part of Latvia. Development of 160 stands was followed from 1977 till 2011, based on forest inventory data. The changes in the area of stands increasing in age and remaining a spruce dominated (i.e. un-affected) was used as an indicator. Both the stand age and the time period were a significant factors affecting survival of the Norway spruce dominated stands. Only 70% from the stands survived through the study period (36 years), thus, the financial gain for the forest owner was notably affected. Faster reach of target diameter, even without increased wind resistance (as assessed by the HWind model) achievable in sparser stands, than currently required, would notably improve the gain for the forest owners. Thus, reduction of initial stand density is suggested.

Keywords: natural disturbances, abiotic factors, biotic factors, natural disasters, climate change


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