Visitor preferences of thinning practice in young even-aged stands of pedunculate oak (Quercus robur L.): comparing the opinion of forestry professionals in six European countries

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This study compared visitor preferences of forestry professionals across six European countries (Sweden, Denmark, Great Britain, Austria, Romania and Portugal) using a questionnaire survey. The 598 interviewees were asked to rank photographs depicting recently thinned experimental plots in a 13-year old stand of pedunculate oak (Quercus robur L.) according to the criterion: “Which forest environment do you prefer as a visitor?” The plots represented five different residual stem densities: 7000 (no thinning, very high stem density), 5300 (heavy thinning, high stem density), 1000 (very heavy thinning, medium stem density), 300 (extremely heavy thinning, low stem density/open stand) and 100 (solitary trees, very low stem density/very open stand) stems ha−1. The results indicated geographical variation in the preferences for different thinning practices in young stands of oak. Portuguese, Austrian and Romanian respondents generally favoured thinned, but dense stands, whereas Danish and British respondents preferred very heavily thinned stands. Swedish respondents preferred open stands resulting from extremely heavy thinning. Photographs taken along rows were favoured to photographs across rows, indicating a preference for scenes offering perspective and accessibility. The results indicate a variation of visitor preferences among forestry professionals for different silvicultural regimes. We interpret this in the context of national traditions and forestry paradigms that influence the shaping of preferences.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Forest Research
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)81-90
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Discrete choice analysis, forest accessibility, forest aesthetics, forest recreation, precommercial thinning, scenic beauty, silviculture, slash, stem density

ID: 180968423