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      Evidence-Based Knowledge Versus Negotiated Indicators for Assessment of Ecological Sustainability: The Swedish Forest Stewardship Council Standard as a Case Study

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          Abstract

          Assessing ecological sustainability involves monitoring of indicators and comparison of their states with performance targets that are deemed sustainable. First, a normative model was developed centered on evidence-based knowledge about (a) forest composition, structure, and function at multiple scales, and (b) performance targets derived by quantifying the habitat amount in naturally dynamic forests, and as required for presence of populations of specialized focal species. Second, we compared the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification standards’ ecological indicators from 1998 and 2010 in Sweden to the normative model using a Specific, Measurable, Accurate, Realistic, and Timebound (SMART) indicator approach. Indicator variables and targets for riparian and aquatic ecosystems were clearly under-represented compared to terrestrial ones. FSC’s ecological indicators expanded over time from composition and structure towards function, and from finer to coarser spatial scales. However, SMART indicators were few. Moreover, they poorly reflected quantitative evidence-based knowledge, a consequence of the fact that forest certification mirrors the outcome of a complex social negotiation process.

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          The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13280-012-0377-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          Ecological Thresholds: The Key to Successful Environmental Management or an Important Concept with No Practical Application?

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            Ecological thresholds and regime shifts: approaches to identification.

            There is an apparent gap between the prominence of present theoretical frameworks involving ecological thresholds and regime shifts, and the paucity of efforts to conduct simple tests and quantitative inferences on the actual appearance of such phenomena in ecological data. A wide range of statistical methods and analytical techniques are now available that render these questions tractable, some of them even dating back half a century. Yet, their application has been sparse and confined within a narrow subset of cases of ecological regime shifts. Our objective is to raise awareness on the range of techniques available, and to their principles and limitations, to promote a more operational approach to the identification of ecological thresholds and regime shifts.
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              Retention Forestry to Maintain Multifunctional Forests: A World Perspective

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                per.angelstam@slu.se,
                jean-michel.roberge@slu.se,
                robert.axelsson@slu.se,
                marine.elbakidze@slu.se,
                karbe@ifm.liu.se,
                anders.dahlberg@slu.se,
                erik.degerman@slu.se,
                sonke.eggers@slu.se,
                per-anders.esseen@emg.umu.se,
                joakim.hjalten@slu.se,
                therese.johansson@slu.se,
                Joerg.Mueller@npv-bw.bayern.de,
                heidi.paltto@liu.se,
                tord.snall@slu.se,
                soloviy@yahoo.co.uk,
                johan.tornblom@slu.se,
                Journal
                Ambio
                Ambio
                Ambio
                Springer Netherlands (Dordrecht )
                0044-7447
                1654-7209
                10 March 2013
                10 March 2013
                March 2013
                : 42
                : 2
                : 229-240
                Affiliations
                [ ]Faculty of Forest Sciences, School for Forest Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, PO Box 43, 730 91 Skinnskatteberg, Sweden
                [ ]Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 901 83 Umeå, Sweden
                [ ]Faculty of Forest Sciences, School for Forest Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, PO Box 43, 739 21 Skinnskatteberg, Sweden
                [ ]Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology (IFM), Linköping University, 581 83 Linköping, Sweden
                [ ]Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, PO Box 7026, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
                [ ]Department of Aquatic Resources, Institute of Freshwater Research, Pappersbruksallén 22, 702 15 Örebro, Sweden
                [ ]Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, PO Box 7044, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
                [ ]Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden
                [ ]National Park Bavarian Forest, Freyunger Strasse 2, 94481 Grafenau, Germany
                [ ]Swedish Species Information Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, PO Box 7007, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
                [ ]Institute of Ecological Economics, Ukrainian National Forestry University, Gen. Chuprynky 103, Lviv, Ukraine
                Article
                377
                10.1007/s13280-012-0377-z
                3593031
                23475658
                f5336a03-e4a8-449a-800f-0d2055415ed8
                © The Author(s) 2013

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the source are credited.

                Categories
                Article
                Custom metadata
                © Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2013

                Sociology
                biodiversity,monitoring,indicators,performance targets,negotiation,social learning
                Sociology
                biodiversity, monitoring, indicators, performance targets, negotiation, social learning

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