Accounting for a Diverse Forest Ownership Structure in Projections of Forest Sustainability Indicators Forest Owner Sustainability

Projections of forest resource development are important tools used for impact assessment; they provide both information about potential future resource supply and input into policy processes. Such projections are undertaken on the local, regional, national or larger scale [1,2,3,4]. In projections of future forest resource development, models are commonly used to simulate the possible development of forest resources and other forest ecosystem services over long time frames. Often, a number of different scenarios are compared, in order to gain an idea of possible future forest conditions given different assumptions about, for example, environmental and social drivers, such as growth impacts due to environmental changes, policy changes, or changes in management [5,6,7,8,9]. In recent years, ecosystem services, i.e., the benefits humans obtain from ecosystems, have received considerable attention in the scientific literature and in policy development [10], and efforts have been undertaken to develop indicators in order to map and evaluate different services [11]. Besides wood production, other ecosystem services, such as carbon sequestration and recreational value, have been allocated greater importance recently and are increasingly included in impact assessments [6]. However, in the majority of national or regional forest development studies, there are differences between the management guidelines that drive harvesting activities and actual management practices, and these may cause large discrepancies between expected and observed harvest, as well as other ecosystem services, even in short-term projections [12,13]. One reason for this is that, even though forest management objectives are known to vary substantially between owners [14,15], ownership structure is rarely taken into account in projections of forest resource development, and the impact of different ownership types and their inherent management schemes on forest ecosystems has been poorly studied so far [16,17]. Nonetheless, several studies indicate that ownership structure has a substantial impact on forest management. For example, Schaich and Plieninger [16] found that forests owned by small-scale private owners differed significantly from forests owned by the state and municipalities in terms of higher levels of structural diversity, deadwood …

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