PhD Defence: Ecosystem Services and Forest Management in the Nordic Countries

PhD defence

Anna Filyushkina


The main objective of this thesis is to contribute to the understanding of the impacts of forest management on provision of non-market ecosystem services and identify trade-offs and synergies for forestry decision-making in the Nordic countries.

First, existing scientific literature on assessments of several non-market ecosystem services in relation to forest management and the extent of their integration into decision support was systematically reviewed in Paper I. The findings suggest an uneven and limited coverage of services in the reviewed literature. Existing assessments are in their majority confined to a single research domain and focus on a single non-market ecosystem service. The same trends have been revealed in studies on decision support.

In the next three papers impacts of forest management on provision of different ecosystem services were investigated. In Paper II a structured expert judgment method (the Delphi technique) was applied to preservation of biodiversity and habitat in the boreal zone. Results suggested that management intensity has a negative effect on the potential to preserve biodiversity and habitat. A wide range of estimates was provided by respondents for functional forms of relationships between preservation of biodiversity and forest characteristics, suggesting little agreement. The findings support the usefulness of the Delphi method as a complementary technique for in depth analysis of ecosystem services provision.

A choice experiment approach was applied in Paper III to examine the effect of variation in two forest characteristics (tree species composition and stand height / age) on recreational value within a stand and between stands in Denmark. Results demonstrate that variation presents a desirable feature within a stand. Between stands variation has a positive effect on recreational value and in some instances it may outweigh contribution of variation within a stand.

Paper IV reports results of a literature synthesis on the potential to provide three ecosystem services (timber, biodiversity conservation and cultural services) for two existing forest management alternatives for oak-dominated forests in Southern Sweden (intensive oak timber production and biodiversity conservation without intervention). It also uses existing studies to draw conclusions for a third hypothetical alternative. We identified several management options which result in complimentary synergetic delivery of the three mentioned ecosystem services.

This PhD is part of the research project Forest and Nature for Society (FONASO).


Niels Strange, Professor, Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Magnus Löf, Professor, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

Eugene Ejike Ezebilo, Research Associate, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

Mattias Boman, Professor, The Faculty of Food and Agriculture, The University of the West Indies, Trinidad

Assesment committee

Frank Søndergaard Jensen, Professor, Department of Geoscience and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Christine Fürst, Senior Scientist, Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Atmospheric Environmental Research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Mario Soliño, Senior Researcher, Forest Research Center, Natural Institute for Agriculture and Food Research and Technology (INIA), Spain

If you are interested in a full copy of the thesis, you can contact the PhD student or the supervisor.