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A Cost-Efficient Approach to Selecting Forest Stands for Conserving Species: A Case Study from Northern Fennoscandia

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We analyze cost-efficient conservation of boreal old-growth forests using three variants of the site selection framework. In all variants, the aim is to maximize biodiversity subject to a given resource constraint. Our benchmark, an integrated site selection model, takes into account both ecological and commercial values of the stands and defines a cost-efficient solution to conservation problems. The other two models are called the ecological and the penny-pincher models. The ecological model reflects current conservation practices and is based on ecological criteria. The penny-pincher model reflects an ad hoc preservation used earlier in many countries, which leads to selection of the stands having the lowest commercial value irrespective of their ecological features. Using Finnish data on forest dwelling species and commercial values of the stands, we demonstrate that the integrated model leads to 9–19% higher conservation cost-efficiency than the other two models. We also show that the xeric forest type may be underrepresented in the current old-growth forest preservation network in this region. FOR. SCI. 50(4):527–539.

Keywords: Biodiversity; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; integer programming; natural resource management; natural resources

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Research Scientist Faculty of Economics and Industrial Management University of Oulu P.O. Box 4600 University of Oulu Finland FIN-90014 Phone: 358-8-5532911;, Fax: 358-8-5532906, Email: 2: Assistant Professor Faculty of Economics and Industrial Management University of Oulu Finland Phone: 358-8-5532944, Email: 3: Assistant Professor Department of Biology University of Oulu Finland Phone: 358-8-5531214, Email: 4: Forestry Expert (Forest Taxation) Finnish Forest and Park Service P.O. Box 8016 Rovaniemi Finland FIN-96101 Phone: 358-020-5647652, Email:

Publication date: August 1, 2004

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