Avoiding the pitfalls of adaptive management implementation in Swedish silviculture

Ambio. 2016 Feb;45 Suppl 2(Suppl 2):140-51. doi: 10.1007/s13280-015-0750-9.


There is a growing demand for alternatives to Sweden's current dominant silvicultural system, driven by a desire to raise biomass production, meet environmental goals and mitigate climate change. However, moving towards diversified forest management that deviates from well established silvicultural practices carries many uncertainties and risks. Adaptive management is often suggested as an effective means of managing in the context of such complexities. Yet there has been scepticism over its appropriateness in cases characterised by large spatial extents, extended temporal scales and complex land ownership-characteristics typical of Swedish forestry. Drawing on published research, including a new paradigm for adaptive management, we indicate how common pitfalls can be avoided during implementation. We indicate the investment, infrastructure, and considerations necessary to benefit from adaptive management. In doing so, we show how this approach could offer a pragmatic operational model for managing the uncertainties, risks and obstacles associated with new silvicultural systems and the challenges facing Swedish forestry.

Keywords: Climate change; Forest management; Risk; Silviculture; Uncertainty.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Climate Change
  • Conservation of Natural Resources*
  • Environmental Policy
  • Forestry / methods*
  • Forestry / trends
  • Forests*
  • Risk
  • Sweden
  • Uncertainty