The valuation of forest ecosystem services as a tool for management planning – A choice experiment

Alexandra Müller, Roland Olschewski, Christian Unterberger, Thomas Knoke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Forest owners and managers deal with an increasing demand for forest ecosystem services (ES). In addition, a recent change can be observed from a governmental top-down approach to bottom-up initiatives, including efforts of the local population to have a say in forest management decisions. Matching supply and demand is seen as a basic condition for the sustainable utilization of forest ES. Against this background, we address the following research questions: (i) How can the preferences on the supply and demand side of forest ES be consistently determined? (ii) In how far do these preferences vary due to regional and societal differences? (iii) How can the supply and demand of forest ES be matched by forest management alternatives? We conducted a survey in Switzerland with foresters and the wider population to compare attitudes and preferences of the supply and demand side of forest ES. The core of the study is a choice experiment (CE) to elicit the population's willingness to pay (WTP) for specific forest management alternatives, and the respective willingness to accept (WTA) on the foresters' side. To address spatial and societal heterogeneity, we compare different geographic forest zones and settlement areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111008
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020


  • Forest ecosystem services
  • Habitat services
  • Recreational services
  • Willingness to accept
  • Willingness to pay


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