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Modeling multi-functional forest management through a social-ecological system framework-based analysis

Abstract : The usefulness of forests is spread from their exploitation for timber, tourism, and other functions to maintenance of wildlife, ecological balance, and prevention of soil erosion. In achieving these goals, the essential factor is proper forest management. However, with the increasingly perceived idea that forests are characterized by complex interactions related to biological and social aspects, forest management is facing a challenge, which consists in integrating interrelations between ecological and social systems. While sustainable forest management is originally seen as a constant yield of wood supply, modern ideas of sustainability are broader in scope, embracing all goods and services of the forest. Increasingly, forests are being managed as multi-functional ecosystems. In this vein, forests are progressively seen as complex social-ecological systems (SESs), requiring adaptive and multi-functional management. In this Ph.D. thesis, we consider that the question of management application can be tackled by understanding how shared infrastructures mediate the interaction between human and ecological environment. In particular, for sustainable and multi-functional forest management, the relation between the capacity for production as well as multi-functional use is highlighted with the concept of forest’s shared infrastructures that are mainly composed of roads (accessibility utilities). However, dilemmas associated with their provision pose some problems when it is applied in a context of different forest functions with conflicting objectives. Therefore, to fully understand and integrate the role of infrastructure and their governance into ecosystem science, we base our research on three parts. We first combine the use of Ostrom’s SES framework and Anderies’ robustness framework and apply it to a specific case study (Quatre-Montagne forest, Vercors, France) to highlight how forestry institutions affect forest ecosystem, its functions, and its social arrangements. With this, we link the concept of multi-functional forest management to the multi-functionality of infrastructures. We then develop a mathematical model, based on the first partition, which analyzes the evolution of the forest system and its functions when impacted by decisions of infrastructure provision. We highlight the role of governance calling to attention their role in fostering multi-functional forest management. Finally, we apply mathematical tools such as viability theory to identify management techniques and approaches that define a first step in characterizing adaptive managements for safe operating spaces in multi-functional forests.
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Mojtaba Houballah. Modeling multi-functional forest management through a social-ecological system framework-based analysis. Modeling and Simulation. Université Clermont Auvergne, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019CLFAC083⟩. ⟨tel-02638609⟩

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