Current issue: 54(2)
Environmental planning for of the maintenance of different conservation objectives should take into account multiple contrasting criteria based on alternative uses of the landscape. We develop new concepts and approaches to describe and measure conflicts among conservation objectives and for resolving them via multiobjective optimization. To measure conflicts we introduce a compatibility index that quantifies how much targeting a certain conservation objective affects the capacity of the landscape for providing another objective. To resolve such conflicts we find compromise solutions defined in terms of minimax regret, i.e. minimizing the maximum percentage of deterioration among conservation objectives. Finally, we apply our approach for a case study of management for biodiversity conservation and development in a forest landscape. We study conflicts between six different forest species, and we identify management solutions for simultaneously maintaining multiple species’ habitat while obtaining timber harvest revenues. We employ the method for resolving conflicts at a large landscape level across a long 50-years forest planning horizon. Our multiobjective approach can be an instrument for guiding hard choices in the conservation-development nexus with a perspective of developing decision support tools for land use planning. In our case study multiple use management and careful landscape level planning using our approach can reduce conflicts among biodiversity objectives and offer room for synergies in forest ecosystems.
Timber production is an economically important provisioning ecosystem service in forests, but is often in conflict with the provision of other ecosystem services. In multifunctional forestry, the production of timber and non-timber ecosystem services should coexist in the same landscape. To this end, we explored the capacity of a boreal landscape to simultaneously produce collectable goods − bilberry (Vaccimium myrtillus L.), cowberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) and cep (Boletus edulis Bull.) − alongside timber revenues. We also identified optimal forest management plans to achieve this. Furthermore, we analyzed trade-offs between collectable good yields and timber production, as well as between their economic values. We ran forest growth simulations under seven alternative management regimes at a landscape level across 50-year planning horizons. Then, we used multi-objective optimization to explore trade-offs and identify optimal forest management plans. The results showed that the strongest trade-off was between bilberry and timber production, resulting in a large loss in timber revenues for a gain in bilberry production. However, the conflicts between other collectables and timber production were relatively small: it was possible to increase the provision of collectable goods 4–15% with small reductions (3−5%) from timber revenues. With careful forest planning, there is the potential to simultaneously produce high levels of collectable goods and timber revenues in the landscape.