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Forest Management Approaches for Coping with the Uncertainty of Climate Change: Trade-Offs in Service Provisioning and Adaptability

Sven Wagner, Chair of Silviculture, TU-Dresden
Susanna Nocentini, Department of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Systems, University of Florence
Franka Huth, Chair of Silviculture, TU-Dresden
Marjanke Hoogstra-Klein, Forest and Nature Conservation Policy Group, Wageningen University

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-06213-190132

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Abstract

The issue of rapid change in environmental conditions under which ecosystem processes and human interventions will take place in the future is relatively new to forestry, whereas the provision of ecosystem services, e.g., timber or fresh water, is at the very heart of the original concept of forest management. Forest managers have developed ambitious deterministic approaches to provide the services demanded, and thus the use of deterministic approaches for adapting to climate change seem to be a logical continuation. However, as uncertainty about the intensity of climate change is high, forest managers need to answer this uncertainty conceptually. One may envision an indeterministic approach to cope with this uncertainty; but how the services will be provided in such a concept remains unclear. This article aims to explore the fundamental aspects of both deterministic and indeterministic approaches used in forestry to cope with climate change, and thereby point out trade-offs in service provisioning and adaptability. A forest owner needs to be able to anticipate these trade-offs in order to make decisions towards sustainable forest management under climate change.

Key words

climate change; ecological resilience; ecosystem services; forest management strategies; flexibility; forest structure; uncertainty
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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087