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Scenic Impacts of Retention Trees in Clear-cutting Areas

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The aim of this study was to examine the ways in which the volume, physical appearance and location of retention trees affect the scenic quality of clear-cutting areas. A total of 373 respondents rated 40 digitally edited images. If only a few retention trees remained in the cutting area, they did not seem to affect the ratings, but when 3 m3 haâ^’1 was retained the scenic quality of the clear-cutting area improved. The better the condition of the retention trees, the more they were appreciated. Retention trees in a poor condition did not enhance the scenic quality of clear-cutting areas. Mature retention trees were found to be more attractive than undergrowth. Even undergrowth was preferred to clear-cutting areas without any trees. Respondents also preferred retention trees standing alone to trees in groups. Forest owners provided higher overall preference scores than visitors. The scenic quality of clear-cutting areas can be substantially improved if there remains an adequate volume of mature retention trees that are in good condition.

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Keywords: Forest regeneration; forest visualization; landscape management; scenic beauty

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Finnish Forest Research Institute, P.O. Box 18, FI-01301 Vantaa

Publication date: 2004-04-01

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