Open Access

Spatial considerations of an area restriction model for identifying harvest blocks at commercial forest plantations


In the past few decades, ecological and environmental issues have dominated the forest industry worldwide, but economic aspects have been much less studied in this dynamic period. However, a sustainable and efficient forest biomass supply is critical for socio-economic development in many regions, particularly in rural areas. Nature protection efforts have contributed to reduced harvesting quotas, which have resulted in an imbalance of the environmental functions of the forests and forest management, particularly wood supply.

Considering the size and distribution of forest production management units and the forest stands that compose those units, there is a clear need for improved decision-making tools that help forest managers in planning harvest sequences. The optimization of harvest scheduling should consider economic and spatial factors, which may reduce production costs by increasing the logistic efficiency. Moreover, incorporating maximum harvesting opening size constraints into planning can help preserve biodiversity.

This article presents a new spatial harvest scheduling model based on the integer programming method; it was developed using real data from a forest production unit located in the northern part of the southeast region of Brazil. The goal of the proposed scheduling approach is to maximize the net present value and concentrate the harvesting locations in each period. In spite of the fact that the object of the study is plantation forest under management different to common conditions in Europe or North America, the model is flexible and can be used in management of forest in Central Europe.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Plant Science, Ecology, other