Cost-effective age structure and geographical distribution of boreal forest reserves

Lundstrom, J, Ohman, K, Perhans, K, Ronnqvist, M and Gustafsson, L (2011) Cost-effective age structure and geographical distribution of boreal forest reserves. Journal of Applied Ecology, 48 1: 133-142. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2664.2010.01897.x

Author Lundstrom, J
Ohman, K
Perhans, K
Ronnqvist, M
Gustafsson, L
Title Cost-effective age structure and geographical distribution of boreal forest reserves
Journal name Journal of Applied Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0021-8901
Publication date 2011-02-01
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2010.01897.x
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 48
Issue 1
Start page 133
End page 142
Total pages 10
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
1. Forest reserves are established to preserve biodiversity, and to maintain natural functions and processes. Today there is heightened focus on old-growth stages, with less attention given to early successional stages. The biodiversity potential of younger forests has been overlooked, and the cost-effectiveness of incorporating different age classes in reserve networks has not yet been studied.
2. We performed a reserve selection analysis in boreal Sweden using the Swedish National Forest Inventory plots. Seventeen structural variables were used as biodiversity indicators, and the cost of protecting each plot as a reserve was assessed using the Heureka system. A goal programming approach was applied, which allowed inclusion of several objectives and avoided a situation in which common indicators affected the result more than rare ones. The model was limited either by budget or area.
3. All biodiversity indicators were found in all age classes, with more than half having the highest values in ages ≥ 100 years. Several large-tree indicators and all deadwood indicators had higher values in forests 0-14 years than in forests 15-69 years.
4. It was most cost-effective to protect a large proportion of young forests since they generally have a lower net present value compared to older forests, but still contain structures of importance for biodiversity. However, it was more area-effective to protect a large proportion of old forests since they have a higher biodiversity potential per area.
5. The geographical distribution of reserves selected with the budget-constrained model was strongly biassed towards the north-western section of boreal Sweden, with a large proportion of young forest, whereas the area-constrained model focussed on the south-eastern section, with dominance by the oldest age class.
6. Synthesis and applications. We show that young forests with large amounts of structures important to biodiversity such as dead wood and remnant trees are cheap and cost-efficient to protect. This suggests that reserve networks should incorporate sites with high habitat quality of different forest ages. Since young forests are generally neglected in conservation, our approach is of interest also to other forest biomes where biodiversity is adapted to disturbance regimes resulting in open, early successional stages.
© 2010 The Authors. Journal of Applied Ecology © 2010 British Ecological Society.
Keyword Biodiversity
Conservation planning
Early succession
Goal programming
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article first published online: 26 NOV 2010.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
Ecology Centre Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 14 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 13 Feb 2011, 10:02:38 EST