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Ecosystem services and forest management

Lead Author: Louise Sing

Home Publications Ecosystem services and forest management

The ecosystem services concept helps describe the benefits which humans receive from nature and natural processes in a way that can influence policy and management decision making. The ability of trees, woodlands and forests to provide a wide range of ecosystem services is very much dependent on where they are located and how they are managed. Characterising, assessing and valuing ecosystem services can support forest management in a number of ways. These include demonstrating the human and societal goods and services which trees, woodlands and forests provide; supporting the prioritisation of management activities by articulating forest management outcomes as trade-offs in ecosystem services; and considering whether the configuration and management of woodlands is sufficiently robust to meet potential changes in the future demand for ecosystem services, and is resilient to projected climate change. This Research Note provides an introduction to the ecosystem services framework by explaining the concepts of characterisation, assessment and valuation, and the links to sustainable forest management through the UK Forestry Standard. It presents the findings of a series of workshops, held by Forest Research during 2011, which identified the priority ecosystem services for policy and practice from trees, woodlands and forests as timber and fuel production, carbon sequestration, flood mitigation, water quality, health and recreation, and biodiversity.


PDF, 0.53 MB

Publication type
Research Note
Publication owner
Forestry Commission