A1 Journal article (refereed)
Spatial trade-offs between ecological and economical sustainability in the boreal production forest (2023)

Mazziotta, A., Borges, P., Kangas, A., Halme, P., & Eyvindson, K. (2023). Spatial trade-offs between ecological and economical sustainability in the boreal production forest. Journal of Environmental Management, 330, Article 117144. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2022.117144

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsMazziotta, Adriano; Borges, Paulo; Kangas, Annika; Halme, Panu; Eyvindson, Kyle

Journal or seriesJournal of Environmental Management



Publication year2023


Article number117144

PublisherElsevier BV

Publication countryNetherlands

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/84773


Economically-oriented forestry aims to sustain timber harvest revenues, while ecologically-oriented management supplies suitable habitat for species using deadwood as primary habitat. As these objectives are conflicting, planning for economic and ecological sustainability involves compromise and trade-offs. We analyze the spatial trade-offs between the economic value from timber harvesting and the volume of deadwood in the boreal forest. We assess these trade-offs from three perspectives: (1) landscape characteristics, affected by conservation strategies; (2) forest management promoting either economic or ecological values; (3) uncertainty in inventory errors undermining the estimate of the two sustainability objectives. To reveal the tradeoffs between the forest economic and ecological values we simulated and optimized a production landscape in Finland 30 years into the future accounting for uncertainty in biomass and deadwood inventories. We found that, with a limited reduction in timber harvesting (7%), (i) the amount of deadwood increased more in non-aggregated (45%) than in aggregated (16%) stands, (ii) constraining stands in adjacent areas further increased deadwood (21%) respect to the matrix and (iii) 7% of connected stand area harbored ≥20 m3/ha deadwood supporting survival of near-threatened species. Our results demonstrate that the structure of the landscape for biodiversity can be improved with limited economic losses. However, improving habitat configuration requires larger economic losses than only increasing habitat amount, but its ecological benefits are larger both for common and red-listed species. We found that management oriented towards stand aggregation not only creates connected areas with high deadwood of high value biodiversity but also improves the value of the whole matrix by decreasing intensive timber harvesting and energy wood collection. Finally, we found that uncertainties alter the estimate of the potential of the forest landscape to supply deadwood, and this can affect the choice of management actions to allocate over the landscape. To conclude, our results demonstrate the trade-offs between economic forest use and conservation are affected differently by landscape characteristics, forest management and uncertainty in inventory errors. As such these drivers should be considered when optimizing the forest for multiple uses.

Keywordsuncertaintyboreal zonesilvicultureforestrysustainable forest managementsustainable developmentnatural diversity

Free keywordsBoreal; forest management; spatial optimization; pareto; trade-offs; uncertainty

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2023

JUFO rating2

Last updated on 2024-15-05 at 13:02