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T: A forest simulator for bioeconomic analyses based on models for individual trees

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The aim of this paper is to describe a bioeconomic forest simulator based on models for individual trees. At present, the forest simulator can be applied only to stand-level analyses, but in future it is planned to be a part of a software system that may be used for decision support for large forest areas. The focus is on a flexible platform facilitating future development, and the biological submodels, i.e. distance-independent individual-tree growth and mortality models and area-based regeneration and recruitment models, are based on permanent sample plots from the Norwegian National Forest Inventory. The economic submodels estimate timber prices and harvesting costs from individual trees. For each management unit (i.e. stand), the simulator produces treatment schedules with all feasible combinations of user-defined treatment and regeneration options (e.g. precommercial thinning, thinning, different kinds of regeneration cutting with different kinds of regeneration options and selective cutting). A net present value is calculated for all treatment schedules. From the treatment schedules various aspects of forest dynamics and economics can be analysed and visualized. A case study is presented to demonstrate some of the functionality and behaviour of the simulator.

Keywords: Biological and economic projections; distance-independent growth; forest management planning; net present value

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Ecology and Natural Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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