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Faculty for Biology, Chemistry, and Earth Sciences

Department of Ecological Modelling - Prof. Dr. Michael Hauhs

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Hauhs, M: Production versus conservation in New Zealand and German beech forest management - A modeller's perspective, New Zealand Journal of Foresty, 50(4), 31-41 (2006) [Link]
In Bavaria, Germany and in the South Island of New Zealand indigenous beech forests comprise large landscape units. In Germany almost all of this forest is under silvicultural management, nature conservation being of only secondary concern. The reverse is true for NZ beech forests. The two attitudes of managing beech, one which attempts to integrate conservational concern into multi-purpose silviculture and the other in which the two management goals are segregated to different land areas represent different belief systems and paradigms with respect to the valuation of ecosystems. Seen from within forestry, the differences in valuation and belief appear as external and cannot be put to empirical test or consistency constraints. Here I suggest that a more comprehensive classification scheme based on modelling assumptions rather than on utilization goals offers a better way to clarify such valuation conflicts. In one modelling paradigm of ecosystems predictive tasks are selected as focal points and in the other evaluative tasks of management act as focal points. Between these extremes it is possible to map the positions that become publicly expressed about the issues of conservation and timber use. In this classification scheme Bavaria and NZ in the past represented two very different attitudes, but were consistent with their respective environmental and cultural histories. Recently Bavaria seems to follow the NZ example and in a sense is switching between extremes. This change puts the continuation of Bavarian silvicultural culture and competence at risk.
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