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Economics of converting an even-aged Fagus sylvatica stand to an uneven-aged stand using target diameter harvesting

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Conversion from even-aged management of beech ( Fagus sylvatica ) to target diameter harvesting was analysed by the use of diameter class models. Results were compared with traditional even-aged shelterwood natural regeneration regimes for a highly productive site. It was found that for discount rates from 0.5 to 3%, the profitability of the two silvicultural systems differs by up to 5%, with target diameters of 45–55 cm and rotation ages of 80–110 years in the traditional regimes. Target diameter harvesting tends to be preferred if the discount rate is >2% and traditional even-aged management if it is =1%. The results of target diameter harvesting are weakly sensitive to the regeneration pace and success and to variations of the quality of logs from large and old trees. Owing to the almost equal profitability of target diameter harvesting compared with the traditional regimes, the former may be preferred for ecological reasons since it better resembles the natural dynamics.

Keywords: Beech; conversion; diameter distribution; economic evaluation; modelling; profitability; simulation; target diameter; uneven-aged

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Economics, Policy and Management Planning, Danish Centre for Forest, Landscape and Planning, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Frederiksberg, Denmark 2: Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Russell Laboratories, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2005

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