by: Ulla Vänttinen
A review paper by MOTIVE has just been published in the journal Annals of Forest Science. ‘A review of decision-making approaches to handle uncertainty and risk in adaptive forest management under climate change provides an overview of approaches to which we may resort for handling the complex decision problems involving uncertainty and risk that climate change implies for forest managers. The review emphasizes that the new approaches for analysing adaptive forest management options under climate change are called for, which take into account not only that climate change increases uncertainty of outcomes, but in particular that new and more reliable information about outcomes becomes available as time passes and climate changes.
Looking across a large number of studies, the review highlights two important challenges for science that need to be addressed:
1) improved models and concepts for decision making under climate change driven uncertainty, which include the handling of non-stationary and perhaps even belief-based parameters of stochastic processes and probability distributions and
2) the need for simple but valid forest growth models that i) can provide good estimates of timber and other forest goods and services as a function of stand level characteristics and management, ii) are constructed in ways that allow stand growth to react to changes in climate, iii) are able to link together stand output functions to form forest and landscape levels models and iv) are simple enough to provide good conditional predictions of key state variables and flows at low computational costs, hence allowing for evaluation of numerous decision alternatives.
Thus, the paper concludes that future research should attempt to bridge the gap between comprehensive ecological models and targeted economic models. There is a need to assist forest decision-makers with appropriate and complete modeling tools i.e. integrating climate-sensitive vegetation models into adaptive and knowledge-based decision-making processes.
The MOTIVE review paper ‘A review of decision-making approaches to handle uncertainty and risk in adaptive forest management under climate change’ by Rasoul Yousefpour, Jette Bredahl Jacobsen, Bo Jellesmark Thorsen, Henrik Meilby, Marc Hanewinkel and Karoline Oehler is available as a pdf-file here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13595-011-0153-4
Further information Dr. Rasoul Yousefpour, Forest & Landscape, University of Copenhagen, ry @ life.ku.dk