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Precommercial thinning of pedunculate oak: Recreational preferences of the population of Denmark for different thinning practices in young stands

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The objective of this study was to investigate how thinning practice influences the preferences of adult Danes for forest recreation in young stands of even-aged oak. The study was based on five pairs of colour photographs from each of five recently thinned plots in a 13-year old experiment. The plots included 7000 stems ha-1 (unthinned), 5300 ha-1 (traditional thinning), 1000 ha-1, 300 ha-1 and 100 ha-1. All cut trees were left on the ground. The study was carried out as a national survey based on postal questionnaires (n=243, response 73%). Interviewees ranked the photographs according to the criterion: “Which forest environment do you prefer as a visitor?” Visitor accessibility was interpreted as being more important than stand density per se. Thinning slash was pointed out as a major factor for the impression of accessibility. Low to mid-range densities (300-5300 ha-1) were preferred over very dense (7000 ha-1) or very open (100 ha-1) stands.

Keywords: Forest recreation; Quercus; oak; slash; stand density; thinning; thinning waste

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Copenhagen, Forest & Landscape Denmark, Frederiksberg, Denmark

Publication date: February 1, 2009

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