Multifunctional natural forest silviculture economics revised: Challenges in meeting landowners’ and society's wants. A review

Pablo Campos, Alejandro Caparrós, Emilio Cerdá, Luis Diaz-Balteiro, A. Casimiro Herruzo, Lynn Huntsinger, David Martín-Barroso, María Martínez-Jauregui, Paola Ovando, José L. Oviedo, María Pasalodos-Tato, Carlos Romero, Mario Soliño, Richard B. Standiford


Aim of study: This paper objective focuses on the contribution of multifunctional natural forest silviculture, incorporating both private and public product managements, to forest and woodland economics.

Area of study: Spain and California (USA).

Material and methods: This conceptual article has developed a critical revision of the existing literature on the main economic issues for multifunctional natural forest silviculture in the last decades.

Main results: Multifunctional natural silviculture has secular roots as a local practice, but as a science of the natural environment applied to the economic management of forest lands it is still in the process of maturation. Timber silviculture remains the central concern of forest economics investment in scientific publications. By contrast, silvicultural modeling of the natural growth of firewood, browse and other non-timber forest products from trees and shrubs receives scant attention in scientific journals. Even rarer are publications on multifunctional natural silviculture for forest and woodland managements, including environmental services geared to people’s active and passive consumption. Under this umbrella, private environmental self-consumption is represented by the amenities enjoyed by private non-industrial landowners. As for environmental public products, the most relevant are carbon, water, mushrooms, recreation, landscape and threatened biodiversity.

Research highlights: This paper is a good example for the conceptual research on forestry techniques and economic concepts applied to multifunctional silviculture in Mediterranean areas of Spain and California. The combination of technical knowledge and private and public economic behaviors definitively contributes to the multifunctional management of natural forest systems.


silvicultural modeling; multiple use; ecosystem accounting; multi-criteria analysis; environmental valuation; commercial auto-consumption; private amenity

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DOI: 10.5424/fs/2017262-10505