Intensive Recreational Activities in Suburban Forests: A Method to quantify the Reduction in Timber Value

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  • Hans-Peter Rusterholz
  • Erol Bilecen
  • Oliver Kleiber
  • K. Tessa Hegetschweiler
  • Bruno Baur

Central European forests are generally multifunctional; the same forest areas are used for timber production and recreation. In frequently visited areas damage to trees can be observed. We developed a method to estimate the actual reduction in timber value due to recreation-induced damage. The method was tested in two suburban (oak-hornbeam and beech) forests sustainably maintained by a selective management system and with free access in northwestern Switzerland. Considering the total forest areas, 9.4% of oak trees and 23.0% of beech trees were damaged by recreational activities. The resulting reduction in timber value averaged 19 and 53 € ha -1 a -1 in the two forests. The annual reduction in timber value due to recreation-induced damage can account for up to 16% of the total proceeds. The monetary benefits of forest recreation in these areas, however, by far exceed the damage to trees.

Original languageEnglish
JournalUrban Forestry and Urban Greening
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)109-116
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2009