Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

A review and evaluation of forest development models for forest management planning at different spatial scales

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.01.01  Biotechnical sciences  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Forest - forestry 

Code Science Field
B430  Biomedical sciences  Sylviculture, forestry, forestry technology 

Code Science Field
4.01  Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences  Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 
forest development models; concept of forest modelling; forest management; forest management planning; international reporting; data sources;Slovenia
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (12)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  10801  PhD Andrej Bončina  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2020  518 
2.  54424  Živa Bončina    Technical associate  2020  18 
3.  27615  PhD Andrej Ficko  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2020  166 
4.  20691  PhD Petra Grošelj  Interdisciplinary research  Researcher  2018 - 2020  167 
5.  39600  PhD Jernej Jevšenak  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2020  111 
6.  28501  PhD Matija Klopčič  Biotechnical sciences  Head  2018 - 2020  176 
7.  19721  PhD Gal Kušar  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2020  177 
8.  29237  PhD Boštjan Mali  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2020  201 
9.  25666  PhD Aleš Poljanec  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2020  252 
10.  32898  PhD Tina Simončič  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Technical associate  2020  82 
11.  28590  PhD Mitja Skudnik  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2020  361 
12.  36900  Jasna Šlenc  Pharmacy  Researcher  2019 - 2020 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0404  Slovenian Forestry Institute  Ljubljana  5051673000  12,055 
2.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  66,743 
Modeling forest development is an important component of forest management; forest models enable the prediction of forest stand development under different management scenarios and support decision-making and the elaboration of forest management plans. At the national level forest modeling is important for the strategic decisions in forest policy and international reporting. The use of forest models is relatively common in forestry due to long production cycles of forest stands and significant dependence of stand development on management regimes and environmental factors. Forest modelling is much more evolved in other countries than in Slovenia. Recently, several foreign models of forest development have been tested in Slovenia, while only a matrix model and some partial (sub)models have been developed so far. The use of foreign models, however, is limited due to differences in stand and site characteristics. Detailed databases on forest stands and sites that are available for forest development modeling have so far not been optimally used for forest management or modeling. Furthermore, the growth and other models that are a prerequisite for the development of forest development models have not yet been developed. The proposed project represents the beginning of the systematic development of the forest development modeling in Slovenia with the aim of making forest development models accessible and usable at various levels of forest management. The main objectives of the project are to: 1) review and evaluate forest development models used in Europe for international reporting and comparison of forest development; 2) review characteristics and requirements of forest development models for forest management at various planning and spatial levels; 3) evaluate forest development models regarding their usefulness for forest management in Slovenia and evaluate the available data sources for modeling, and 4) develop the concept of forest development modeling in Slovenia. The project work will focus on the review and evaluation of the currently available forest development models used abroad, on the evaluation of their applicability for international reporting on wood stock and forest management in Slovenia taking into account the available data sources, and testing the selected models in case study areas. The project team comprises researchers from Department of Forestry and Renewable Forest Resources at Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana and Slovenian Forestry Institute and experts from the Slovenia Forest Service. Within the project, a conference and an expert workshop are planned. The project outputs will define the methodology for integrating forest development models into forest management planning and propose supplementing the data sources for the purposes of modeling forest development. The results of the project will serve as the foundation for the development of forest development models in Slovenia.
Significance for science
In the proposed project we will review forest development models and evaluate their applicability in forest management at different spatial scales. The most suitable models for modeling forest development at the national level (deliverable D1) could be used in the future (with a pertinent calibration) for reporting on carbon stocks in accordance with the EU legislation and the international comparison of forest development. The use of forest development models constitutes the highest reporting quality in the frame of the UNFCCC Conventions, which makes the uncertainty about reported parameters significantly reduced. Models can also be used for forest development projections needed for other international reporting (e.g. FRA), for which the trend extrapolation method has been used so far.   The project results will represent the basis for the evolution of forest modeling in Slovenia. This subject is poorly developed, and the evolution is highly needed given the deficiencies of the current concept of forest management planning and the uncertainty of forest development. Forest management planners require effective tools for decision-making in forest management and scheduling interventions in individual forest stands or stands of a particular site/forest type. The models supporting the latter will also be useful for district foresters, as they will acquire the necessary information for decision-making on forest operations quickly. Models can also serve as a communication tool between foresters and forest owners or the general public. With setting up the modeling case studies and transferring the knowledge into forestry practice through workshops and other dissemination approaches, the forestry experts will be provided with information on possibilities of using forest development models for practical work on a daily basis and the suitability of individual models for certain tasks.   For forestry profession it is important to develop a concept of incorporating forest development models into forest management and planning (deliverable D4). A review of models' properties and requirements and the developed concept with a defined methodology for integrating forest development models into forest management will be fundamental for the development of such a model in the near future.   Appropriate input data are needed to use forest development models. In Slovenia forest information systems comprise quality data on forests and forest management, which are gathered in forest and other inventories and could be used in forest development modeling. The proposed project will contribute to the completion and improvement of forest inventory and the forestry information system.   Forest development models are also useful in other fields such as planning and management of private forests, management of protective forests (additional modules for modeling the occurrence of natural hazards are needed), management of torrential areas. Due to the widespread applicability of models and specific site and stand characteristics, it is essential that a forest development model for Slovenian conditions will be developed. The results of the proposed project are essential for developing such a model in Slovenia. In order to achieve this goal, the cooperation of all institutions, related to this field, and the scientific development of the Biotechnical Faculty project-team in the field of modeling are required.   The proposed project represents the start of development of forest development modeling in Slovenia; therefore its importance for the development of this segment of forestry is decisive.
Significance for the country
Forest development models enable forecasting future dynamics of forest stands. For a country like Slovenia with a forest cover of around 60%, an assessment of production and energy potentials of woody biomass is essential. Knowing the development of forests is important for both forestry and wood-processing sector as well as for the energy sector. The results of the proposed project will derive an assessment of which forest development models could be used for short- and/or long-term predictions of availability of woody biomass. Knowing the development of forest parameters, related to the potential forest yield (e.g. annual harvests, growing stock, volume increment) and expressing the economic value of forests, under different scenarios of forest management can significantly contribute to a more successful development planning of forestry and wood-processing sectors (such as wood supply chains), more efficient adaptation of both sectors to the expected socio-economic and environmental changes, more rational decisions in management and development of companies for timber production and processing or wood-energy production, as well as the formation of appropriate forest and economic policies.   The project results will help to improve forest management. Decisions supported by forest development models contribute to a better planning of the use of renewable forest resources, which will have an impact on the forest and wood-processing sectors at national and regional levels. Decisions on measures and spatial interventions in forests will be supported by quantified arguments. The later will also be an important tool for forest managers (planners) in communicating with other land-users.   For private forest enterprises and forest owners, knowing forest development is important for reducing risks in forest management caused by natural disturbances (wind, snow, ice, bark beetles). Knowing the probability of the occurrence of a natural disturbance contribute significantly to a risk-resilient forest management, e.g. by increasing the stability of forests, while at the same time reducing the risk of economic (and ecological) loss in forests. The results of the proposed project will indicate which models can be used to simulate the development of forests under uncertainties.   The evaluation of models will indicate which models are useful for forest owners. Forest development, forest state and management indicators under different forest management scenarios would significantly facilitate forest owners' decisions on measures and investments related to their property.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2018, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Final report
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