Research note published

16 Sep 2015


Ecosystem services and forest management Research Note

The ability of trees, woodlands and forests to provide a wide range of ecosystem services depends on where they are located and how they are managed. A new Forestry Commission research note has been published which introduces the ecosystem services framework in relation to forest management. It describes the ecosystem services from Britain’s trees, woodlands and forests and presents the results of a series of workshops, held by Forest Research during 2011, which identified the priority ecosystem services for policy and practice as: timber and fuel production, carbon sequestration, flood mitigation, water quality, health and recreation, and biodiversity. 

The note explains how characterising, assessing and valuing these and other ecosystem services can support forest management in several ways, including: 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. A modified Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response framework for ecosystem services provision demonstrates how historical drivers have affected ecosystem services in the past, and can be used to consider forest management outcomes in the future. 

The research note also makes links to sustainable forest management through the UK’s Forestry Standard, which sets out the requirements and guidance for UK forestry to meet the UK’s European and international agreements on sustainable forest management. 

This note is available at -