Climate change alters the operational environment of forest management. The need to increase forest resilience and manage forests based on the best available knowledge is urgent. However, it is unclear to what extent scientific knowledge is integrated into practical forest management guidance. To explore how the integration of research works in forest management guidance, we reviewed literature on the effects of forest management measures on disturbance impacts and conducted two rounds of semi-structured interviews. First, we interviewed forest professionals from nine European countries on what they perceive to be the best forest management measures to increase resilience to forest disturbances. Second, we interviewed forest professionals responsible for developing and adapting forest management guidelines in five European countries on the barriers they perceive in integrating research into practice. Both literature review results and interviews were analysed inductively with MAXQDA software coding. We found a discrepancy between forest management measures frequently addressed in scientific literature and those favored by forest professionals. Some measures that forest managers broadly perceive as important for increasing resilience to disturbances are scarcely studied, indicating that the science-practice interphase could benefit from more application relevant research. The lack of relevant information that could facilitate the practical application of measures and the lack of professional capacity were seen by forest professionals to be the main barriers in integrating research findings into forest management. The results showed that there is a need to support the integration of research findings into practice by increasing the capacities for providing forest management guidance.
Nikinmaa, L., de Koning, J.H.C., Derks, J., Grabska-Szwagrzyk, E., Konczal, A.A., Lindner, M., Socha, J., Muys, B. (2024) The priorities in managing forest disturbances to enhance forest resilience: A comparison of a literature analysis and perceptions of forest professionals. Forest Policy and Economics 158, 103119. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1389934123002149