Table 2. A list of the 12 major decisions and the basic principles used to distinguish among five forest management approaches (FMAs) as well as the main silvicultural systems associated with each FMA.


Decision Basic principle by FMA
Intensity scale
Passive
“Unmanaged forest nature reserve”
Low
“Close-to-nature forestry”
Medium
“Combined objective forestry”
High
“Intensive even-aged forestry”
Intensive
“Short rotation forestry”
1. Naturalness of tree species composition Only species characteristic of the potential natural vegetation (PNV) Native or site-adapted species Tree species suitable for the site Tree species suitable for the site Any species (not invasive)
2. Tree improvement No Not genetically modified or derived from tree breeding programs Planting material can be derived from tree breeding but not genetically modified Planting material can be derived from tree breeding but not genetically modified Planting material can be derived from tree breeding or produced via genetic modification.
3. Type of regeneration Natural regeneration / natural succession Natural regeneration (planting for enrichment or change in tree species composition) Natural regeneration, planting, and seeding Natural regeneration, planting, and seeding Planting, seeding, and coppice.
4. Successional elements Yes Yes Temporarily No No
5. Machine operation No Extensive Medium Intensive Most intensive
6. Soil cultivation No No (only to introduce natural regeneration) Possible (mainly to promote natural regeneration) Possible Yes
7. Fertilization / Liming No No
(only if devastated soil)
No
(only if devastated soil)
Possible Yes
8. Application of chemical agents No No Possible as a last resort Possible Possible
9. Integration of nature protection High High High Medium Low
10. Tree removals No Stem (solid volume) Stem and crown (solid volume) Up to whole tree Whole tree and residues
11. Final harvest (and main silvicultural) system No Mimics natural disturbances
Single Stem Selection
Group Selection
Irregular shelterwood
All possible
Seed tree
Strip shelterwood
Group shelterwood
Uniform shelterwood
Coppice with standards
All possible, clearcut (long rotation) preferably used All possible,
Coppice
Clearcut (shorter rotation)
12. Maturity No intervention Long rotation length
≥ age of max. MAI
or target diameter according to tree species and stem quality
Medium rotation length
≈ age of max. MAI
or target diameter according to tree species and stem quality
Short rotation length
≈ age of max. financial return (low interest rate)
Shortest rotation length
≤ age of max. MAI or ≈ age of max. financial return (high interest rate)
In this decision element, the definitions might need to be adjusted in future if the principle of genetic modification became more widely accepted in forestry. For example, planting stock produced through genetic modification might be accepted in “Intensive even-aged forestry.”
Devastated soil = soil that needs measures to get it into an acceptable condition.