Resource communication. ORGEST: Regional guidelines and silvicultural models for sustainable forest management

Míriam Piqué, Pau Vericat, Mario Beltrán


Aim of the study: To develop regional guidelines for sustainable forest management.

Area of the study: Forests of Catalonia (NE Spain).

Material and methods: The process of developing the forest management guidelines (FMG) started by establishing a thorough classification of forest types at stand level. This classification hinges on two attributes: tree species composition and site quality based on ecological variables, which together determine potential productivity. From there, the management guidelines establish certain objectives and silvicultural models for each forest type. The forest type classifications, like the silvicultural models, were produced using both existing and newly-built growth models based on data from the National Forest Inventory (NFI) and expert knowledge. The effort involved over 20 expert working groups in order to better integrate the expertise and vision of different sectorial agents.

Main results: The FMG consist in quantitative silvicultural models that include typical silvicultural variables, technical descriptions of treatments and codes of good practice. Guidelines now cover almost all forest types in Catalonia (spanning up to 90% of the Catalan forest area). Different silvicultural models have been developed for pure and mixed stands, different site quality classes (2–3 classes per species), and even- and multi-aged stands.

Research highlights: FMG: i) orient the management of private and public forests, (ii) provide a technical scaffold for efficient allocation/investment of public subsidies in forest management, and (iii) bridge forest planning instruments at regional (strategic-tactical) and stand (operational) level.


forest types; site quality; expert approach; National Forest Inventory; multifunctionality; fire prevention; best forest management practices

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DOI: 10.5424/fs/2017262-10627