Trends of Forest Harvesting Ages by Ownership and Function and the Effects of the Recent Changes of the Forest Law in Hungary

Kottek, Péter and Király, Éva Ilona and Mertl, Tamás and Borovics, Attila (2023) Trends of Forest Harvesting Ages by Ownership and Function and the Effects of the Recent Changes of the Forest Law in Hungary. FORESTS, 14 (4). ISSN 1999-4907

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/f14040679

Abstract

To determine the optimum time to harvest the trees is one of the most interesting problems in the economics of forest resources. It is highly debated whether forests in the Northern hemisphere should be used as carbon sinks or harvested more for long- or short-term wood use for carbon storage in long-lived wood products and for the use of bioenergy. In our study we examined the trend of the cutting ages by tree species, ownership and function in the period of 2006–2021 based on the data of the National Forestry Database (NFD). We also examined whether any changes in the effective rotation linked to the change of the Hungarian Forest Act in 2017 could be observed. We concluded that there were two main sub-groups in the case of which different trends applied. In the case of state-owned forests and indigenous species with a long rotation period, the actual harvesting ages had an increasing trend in the last fifteen years, while in the case of some species with short rotation periods and lower levels of naturalness, the cutting ages in private forests had a decreasing trend. The rotation period of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) showed a decreasing trend with a significant decrease in private production forests between years 2016 and 2021. This implies that since the more permissive regulation, the management of private black locust stands has moved towards the economically more profitable 20 years rotation cycle. We concluded that the new Forest Act of 2017 can be regarded as an important step towards the separation of forest functions, which means that the role of state-owned forests and forests with high nature conservation value is to protect biodiversity, provide ecosystem services and mitigate climate change through carbon storage in trees, dead wood and in the soil, while the role of forest plantations and forests with lower level of naturalness is to provide timber which is a climate-friendly resource, and which can contribute to climate change mitigation through long-term carbon storage in wood products, wooden buildings and through the substitution of fossil products and fossil fuels.

Tudományterület / tudományág

agricultural sciences > forestry and wildlife management

Faculty

Not relevant

Institution

Soproni Egyetem

Item Type: Article
SWORD Depositor: Teszt Sword
Depositing User: Csaba Horváth
Identification Number: MTMT:33719391
Date Deposited: 26 May 2023 09:39
Last Modified: 26 May 2023 09:39
URI: http://publicatio.uni-sopron.hu/id/eprint/2712

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