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Ambio. 2016 Feb;45 Suppl 2:109-23. doi: 10.1007/s13280-015-0747-4.

Socio-ecological implications of modifying rotation lengths in forestry.

Author information

1
Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), 901 83, Umeå, Sweden. jean-michel.roberge@slu.se.
2
Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), 901 83, Umeå, Sweden. hjalmar.laudon@slu.se.
3
Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Box 7044, 750 07, Uppsala, Sweden. christer.bjorkman@slu.se.
4
Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Box 7044, 750 07, Uppsala, Sweden. thomas.ranius@slu.se.
5
Department of Political Science, Umeå University, 901 87, Umeå, Sweden. camilla.sandstrom@umu.se.
6
Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Rörsjövägen 1, Box 49, 230 53, Alnarp, Sweden. adam.felton@slu.se.
7
Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, Umeå University, 901 87, Umeå, Sweden. anna.stens@umu.se.
8
Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology, Umeå Plant Science Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), 901 83, Umeå, Sweden. annika.nordin@slu.se.
9
Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), 901 83, Umeå, Sweden. anders.granstrom@slu.se.
10
Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), 901 83, Umeå, Sweden. fredrik.widemo@slu.se.
11
Department of Forestry and Wood Technology, Linnaeus University, 351 95, Växjö, Sweden. johan.bergh@lnu.se.
12
Skogforsk, Uppsala Science Park, 751 83, Uppsala, Sweden. johan.sonesson@skogforsk.se.
13
Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Box 7026, 750 07, Uppsala, Sweden. jan.stenlid@slu.se.
14
Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), 901 83, Umeå, Sweden. tomas.lundmark@slu.se.

Abstract

The rotation length is a key component of even-aged forest management systems. Using Fennoscandian forestry as a case, we review the socio-ecological implications of modifying rotation lengths relative to current practice by evaluating effects on a range of ecosystem services and on biodiversity conservation. The effects of shortening rotations on provisioning services are expected to be mostly negative to neutral (e.g. production of wood, bilberries, reindeer forage), while those of extending rotations would be more varied. Shortening rotations may help limit damage by some of today's major damaging agents (e.g. root rot, cambium-feeding insects), but may also increase other damage types (e.g. regeneration pests) and impede climate mitigation. Supporting (water, soil nutrients) and cultural (aesthetics, cultural heritage) ecosystem services would generally be affected negatively by shortened rotations and positively by extended rotations, as would most biodiversity indicators. Several effect modifiers, such as changes to thinning regimes, could alter these patterns.

KEYWORDS:

Climate change; Forest damage; Non-timber forest products; Production; Recreation; Timber

PMID:
26744047
PMCID:
PMC4705071
DOI:
10.1007/s13280-015-0747-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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