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Title: Multi-objective optimization to evaluate tradeoffs among forest ecosystem services following fire hazard reduction in the Deschutes National Forest, USA
Author: Schroder, Svetlana A. (Kushch); Toth, Sandor F.; Deal, Robert L.; Ettl, Gregory J.;
Source: Ecosystem Services
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Description: Forest owners worldwide are increasingly interested in managing forests to provide a broad suite of Ecosystem services, balancing multiple objectives and evaluating management activities in terms of Potential tradeoffs. We describe a multi-objective mathematical programming model to quantify tradeoffs in expected sediment delivery and the preservation of Northern spotted owl (NSO) habitat following fuel treatments to reduce fire hazard in the Deschutes National forest in Central Oregon, USA. Our model integrates the management objective of fire hazard reduction and the provision of ecosystem services (water quality and NSO habitat protection) and helps evaluate tradeoffs among them. Our results suggest significant reductions in fire hazard can be achieved without compromising any NSO habitat by strategically placing the treatments; however, the treatments will lead to a short term increase in sediment delivery. An analysis of environmental risks showed that over the longer term, the increase in sediment delivery and NSO habitat loss caused by wildfires would be 30–50% greater in areas without fuel treatments. The use of the multi-objective optimization model described in this study can help managers quantify and assess potential tradeoffs among ecosystem services and provide data for more informed decision making.
Keywords: Ecosystem services, multi-objective optimization models, tradeoffs, water quality, northern spotted owl habitat, environmental risk
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Schroder, Svetlana A. (Kushch); Toth, Sandor F.; Deal, Robert L.; Ettl, Gregory J. 2016. Multi-objective optimization to evaluate tradeoffs among forest ecosystem services following fire hazard reduction in the Deschutes National Forest, USA. Ecosystem Services. 22 (Part B): 328-347.
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