iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


A Decision Support System for trade-off analysis and dynamic evaluation of forest ecosystem services

Sandro Sacchelli   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 11, Issue 1, Pages 171-180 (2018)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2416-010
Published: Feb 19, 2018 - Copyright © 2018 SISEF

Research Articles

This paper presents an open-source Decision Support System (DSS) able to quantify the economic value of forest ecosystem services and their dynamic trade-offs. Provisioning, regulation and support services, as well as cultural services, can be evaluated by the model. Best management forestry practices can be identified by optimizing specific objective functions, e.g., maximizing the economic value or identifying the ideal rotation period. The model was applied to a silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) stand in central Italy as a case study. Results show the importance of economic parameters (e.g., discount rate) and management practices (e.g., presence/absence of silvicultural thinning) in defining forest values. The main strengths and weaknesses of the DSS are discussed in light of its potential for application in the sector of Payment for Ecosystem Services.


Ecosystem Services Planning, Complex Systems Analysis, Systemic Rotation Period, Nonlinear Programming

Authors’ address

Sandro Sacchelli
Department of Agricultural, Food and Forest Systems Management, University of Florence, 18, p.le delle Cascine, I-50144, Florence (Italy)

Corresponding author

Sandro Sacchelli


Sacchelli S (2018). A Decision Support System for trade-off analysis and dynamic evaluation of forest ecosystem services. iForest 11: 171-180. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2416-010

Academic Editor

Luca Salvati

Paper history

Received: Feb 23, 2017
Accepted: Nov 23, 2017

First online: Feb 19, 2018
Publication Date: Feb 28, 2018
Publication Time: 2.93 months

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