Managing Nordic boreal forest landscapes for biodiversity: ecological and economic perspectives
Abstract. More conservation-oriented forest management practices have been implemented recentlyin the Nordic countries. The goal of this ecological forest landscape management is to reconcile thecommercial harvesting of boreal forests with biodiversity conservation. Management aims atmaintaining viable populations of the full array of naturally occurring species in an area while stillkeeping the timber ¯ow as maximal as possible. Basic ecological tools of managing landscape forbiodiversity are (1) to mimic natural disturbance regimes, (2) to set aside areas in permanent ortemporary nature reserves, and (3) to enhance dispersal of organisms by creating habitat corridorsand stepping stones. The ecological basis of this management system is not well founded, and muchmore empirical and theoretical research is needed to justify and further develop forest landscapemanagement. It has also proved dicult to assess the economic consequences of more conserva-tion-oriented forest management because the market economy largely fails to give value to forestproducts other than ®bre. Considerable methodological development in the valuation of non-timber goods has occurred in recent years, but there is still much controversy over the justi®cationof the valuation procedure in principle. It seems that both economic and moral approaches to theissue of valuation are inseparable from the choices and decisions we have to make about ecologicalsystems. Perhaps the most fruitful outcome can be achieved by using moral and ecomic arguments in parallel.