Research papers

Multifunctionality assessment in forest planning at landscape level. The study case of Matese Mountain Community (Italy).


The main objective is to improve a method that aims at evaluating forest multifunctionality from a technical and practical point of view. A methodological approach - based on the index of forest multifunctionality level - is proposed to assess the “fulfilment capability” of a function providing an estimate of performance level of each function in a given forest. This method is aimed at supporting technicians requested to define most suitable management guidelines and silvicultural practices in the framework of a Forest Landscape Management Plan (FLMP). The study area is the Matese district in southern Apennines (Italy), where a landscape planning experimentation was implemented. The approach includes the qualitative and quantitative characterization of selected populations, stratified by forest category by a sampling set of forest inventory plots. A 0.5 ha area around the sample plot was described by filling a form including the following information: site condition, tree species composition, stand origin and structure, silvicultural system, health condition, microhabitats presence. In each sample plot, both the multifunctionality assessment and the estimate of the effect of alternative management options on ecosystem goods and services, were carried out. The introduction of the term “fulfilment capability” and the modification of the concept of priority level - by which the ranking of functions within a plot is evaluated - is an improvement of current analysis method. This enhanced approach allows to detect the current status of forest plot and its potential framed within the whole forest. Assessing functional features of forests with this approach reduces the inherent subjectivity and allows to get useful information on forest multifunctionality to support forest planners in defining management guidelines consistent with current status and potential evolutive pattern.


forest multifunctionality; Forest Landscape Management Planning; function fulfilment index; silvicultural system; Matese district (Italy)



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