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Title: Quantifying Trade-Offs Between Economic and Ecological Objectives in Uneven-Aged Mixed- Species Forests in the Southern United States

Author: Buongiorno, Joseph; Schulte, Benedict; Skog, Kenneth E.

Date: 2004

Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. FPL-CTR-145. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory. 5 p.

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

Description: This paper summarizes research on the management of uneven-aged loblolly pine-hardwood stands in the southern United States. This research was composed of three elements: (1) modeling of biological growth of uneven-aged stands of mixed loblolly pine and hardwood trees, (2) optimization to discover sustainable regimes that would best meet economic and ecological objectives such as stand diversity, and (3) simulations to predict the effects of optimal management guides, when applied to stands in different initial conditions. The findings suggest that unevenaged systems are feasible for the mixed loblolly pine- hardwoods forest type. An infinite number of sustainable management regimes are possible, with different cutting cycles and/or cutting intensities. Regimes with the highest financial returns would lead to pure pine stands, a cutting cycle of about 13 years, diameter-limit cuts at 12 in. diameter at breast height for pines, and total removal of hard- woods. Near-maximum diversity of species and size of trees would be produced by a "hands off' policy, at a high opportunity cost. Intermediate regimes were designed to maximize income, while leaving a sufficiently diverse stand. A simple effective method for converting stands from their initial state to a desired future state is to cut all the trees and only the trees that currently exceed the desired state.

Keywords: uneven-aged, loblolly pine, hardwoods, south, silviculture, economics, linear programming, simulation, biometrics

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Buongiorno, Joseph; Schulte, Benedict; Skog, Kenneth E. 2004. Quantifying Trade-Offs Between Economic and Ecological Objectives in Uneven-Aged Mixed- Species Forests in the Southern United States. Gen. Tech. Rep. FPL-CTR-145. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory. 5 p.

 


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