Projects archive

Impact of forest management on ecosystem services from forests and related ecosystems
Leader: Zane Lībiete
Start date: 12.1.2016
End date: 2.12.2020

Contracting entity – JSC "Latvia's State Forests".

The aim of the research programme is to evaluate at the landscape level the short- and long-term effects of forest management on the services provided by forests and related ecosystems, and to develop practical methods, models and recommendations for the improvement of forest management planning. With ecosystem services we understand the contributions of ecosystem structure and function to human well-being. These contributions are influenced by the input of human activities into the ecosystem. Research programme is implemented from 2016 to 2020 in four main directions.

  1. Landscape level evaluation of forest management impact on the quality of regulating and provisioning ecosystem services delivered by forests and related ecosystems – nutrient cycling, water quality, forest and landscape structural elements important for biological diversity.
  2. The short- and long-term impact of sustainably intensified forest management on the quality of provisioning, regulating and supporting forest ecosystem services – stand productivity and development, soil quality, biodiversity and biotic risks.
  3. Interactions between forest management and supporting forest ecosystem services – availability and quality of non-wood forest products.
  4. Interactions between forest management and aesthetic and recreational forest ecosystem services.

During the implementation of the research, several landscape level forestry impact evaluation monitoring programmes will be carried out (water quality, soil fertility, abundance and spreading of invasive species, structures and landscape elements important for biodiversity). Long- and short-term impact of sustainably intensified forest management will be evaluated (logging residues – impact on the development of rot-causing fungi and biodiversity, stump extraction, compactly located forest felling). Methodologies for the evaluation of the interactions between forest management and non-wood forest products, as well as aesthetic and recreational forest ecosystem services will be developed. The methodologies will provide for objective evaluation of the impact of forest management on the quality of provided ecosystem services, but the recommendations will help to improve the forest management planning in order to balance sustainable use of different ecosystem services.

During the programme implementation, it is foreseen to establish several demonstration objects that will serve the education purposes of forest managers and society in the field of forest management and ecosystem services’ interaction. A number of local and international scientific publications will be prepared, based on the research data.

The results of the research to the forest sector and other interested stakeholders will be presented during the Forest science days, seminars for employees of "Latvia’s State Forests", local and international conferences.

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