University of Jyväskylä

Dissertation: 9 Feb 2018: Trade­offs among intensive forestry, ecosystem services and biodiversity in boreal forests (Pohjanmies)

Start date: Feb 09, 2018 12:00 PM

End date: Feb 09, 2018 03:00 PM

Location: Ylistönrinne, YAA303

Master of Science (Agriculture and Forestry Tähti Pohjanmies defends her doctoral dissertation in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology "Trade­offs among intensive forestry, ecosystem services and biodiversity in boreal forests". Opponent Dr. Johan Ekroos (Centre for Environmental and Climate Research Lund University, Sweden) and Custos Prof. Mikko Mönkkönen (University of Jyväskylä). The doctoral dissertation is held in English.

Finnish forests are used extensively for timber production but are also providers of other ecosystem services and harbor unique biodiversity. The ecosystem services approach has so far been used marginally in the context of Finnish forestry; however, due to the multiple values associated with Finnish forests and the impacts forestry operations have on forest ecosystems, it is clearly applicable in this context. In this thesis, I studied the occurrence and severity of trade-offs among ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation in Finnish forests. I used forest inventory data, forest growth simulations, and multi-objective optimization to reveal how the severity of the trade-offs varies among combinations of ecosystem services, across spatial scales, and across time, and how the trade-offs could be mitigated by forest management planning. Overall, the results showed that there are clear and challenging conflicts between intensive forestry and ecosystem services in Finland. Ecosystem services provided by forests were found to diminish when the forests were used intensively as a source of timber, whereas reducing or refraining from harvests maintained comparatively high levels of multiple non-timber services and biodiversity. Non-timber services and biodiversity were also shown to recover from intensive forestry the slower the longer intensive forestry was continued, suggesting that forestry’s negative impacts may be long-lasting. The use of optimization tools can help planners to identify management strategies that balance conflicting objectives as well as possible, especially if the analyses are conducted at large enough scales. However, the fact that there are trade-offs means that losses in some objectives are inevitable. It is left to forest managers and other stakeholders to consider which of these losses they are willing to accept.

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Tähti Pohjanmies
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