Adapting silvicultural management systems to urban forests
An important objective of forest science today is to better serve the cultural and recreational needs of a growing urban population. Forests are complex open systems with multiple functions and to maintain credibility among the public, people in charge of the management of urban forests need to draw on the expertise of a variety of scientific disciplines, not only the humanities, but increasingly also the forest engineering and forest biological sciences. The multi-disciplinary character of forest research can be utilized to achieve a more effective interface between science and politics.
The objective of the paper is to present a system for silvicultural management of forests within urban landscapes. The system includes three elements:
1. Forest Options Planning, using suitable tools for generating and evaluating silvicultural management options;
2. Management Demonstration and Referencing, based on a network of managed and unmanaged field plots;
3. Silvicultural Event Analysis, involving preventative evaluation of silvicultural activities based on event-oriented resource assessment.
It is concluded that, considering their social and cultural importance, the forests within the growing urban landscapes are hardly receiving the scientific attention they deserve.