Planted forest ecosystems provide a wide range of goods and services such as timber, carbon sequestration, and avoided erosion. However, only ecosystem services with market values (e.g., timber) are usually represented in decision making while those with non-market values (e.g., avoided erosion) that are difficult to quantify are often ignored. A spatial economic tool, the Forest Investment Framework (FIF), integrates data from forest growth models with spatial, biophysical, and economic data, to quantify the broader value of planted forests and to represent non-market values in sustainable forest management. In this paper, we have tested the applicability of FIF in three types of case studies: assessment of afforestation feasibility, regional economic analyses, and ecosystem service assessment. This study provides evidence that a spatial economic tool that quantifies the economic, environmental, and social values of the planted forest ecosystem is valuable in informing land management decisions for maintaining and enhancing the provision of market and non-market ecosystem services to society.


  • Forest management has a long history of focusing mainly on the more tangible products from forests, such as timber-based and non-timber forest products [1]

  • These cost data are spatially adjusted based on impedances derived from biophysical characteristics: rainfall, slope [94], erosion class, soil types [95], River Environments Classification (REC) [96], Land Use Capability (LUC) classes, Land Cover Databases (LCDB), and expert knowledge [84]

  • The application has met various needs including Maori land development, regional economic assessments, and ecosystem services assessments; groups that benefited from Forest Investment Framework (FIF) studies include regional and national government, the forest industry, indigenous Maori groups and fellow researchers

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Forest management has a long history of focusing mainly on the more tangible products from forests, such as timber-based and non-timber forest products [1]. Forests are ecosystems that provide goods and services that cover a wide range of environmental, ecological, social, and cultural considerations and processes [2] These include carbon sequestration, water filtration, soil stabilization, avoided sedimentation of waterways, nutrient mitigation, recreation, biodiversity conservation, and understory cropping [3,4]. Carbon sequestration and nutrient mitigation can be considered as FES with emerging markets, for example emissions trading schemes and nutrient trading schemes, respectively [5,6] Other services such as avoided sedimentation and water flow regulation have environmental and social values that are not readily realized in market transactions and are less visible in policy [7,8]. One group of frameworks increasingly gaining attention are the spatially explicit economic models that use ecosystem services approaches to help decision makers account for the broader value of forest ecosystems [11,12,13,14].

Ecosystem Services Provided by Planted Forests
Spatial Economic Frameworks for Forest Ecosystem Services
The Forest Investment Framework
Applications of the Forest Investment Framework
Afforestation Feasibility of Maori Land

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