Outdoor recreation and the effect of forest composition

A new study has placed an interesting retrospective on this issue

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Outdoor recreation and the effect of forest composition
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The composition of forests has a certain effect on our outdoor recreational activities. It is proven that nature, plants, trees and flowers have a certain type of effect on human beings. Effects that can be tangible and which can concern both the emotional and physical sphere. But the type of forest can have a different effect on us, depending on how it is formed.

Forest© Justin Sullivan / Staff Getty Images Sport

Through the study The effect of forest composition on outdoor recreation, published in the Journal of environmental management, the researchers analysed:

"Climate change will shift the composition of northern Minnesota forests from boreal to temperate by the end of the century. This shift in forest composition will likely affect outdoor recreation, a valuable ecosystem service and a key economic driver for the region. In this context, the objective of our paper is to empirically examine the relationship between forest composition and recreation.

We analyze the effect of changes in forest composition for seven forest types on seven types of recreation using a lognormal pooled panel regression model for Minnesota's Laurentian Mixed Forest Province research showed forest composition affected recreation at the level of broad groups of broadleaved or coniferous species. We find a statistically significant empirical association between forest composition and recreation at the forest type level (forest types within those broad groups). and recreation categories.

Forest© Justin Sullivan / Staff Getty Images News

For example, big game hunting is positively related to elm-ash-cottonwood and white-red-jack pine and negatively associated with aspen-birch. We find individual forest types within broad groups of broadleaved or coniferous forests, have different relationships with recreation, so that these broad groups are not sufficient in capturing the effect of forest composition on recreation.

Our results are of interest in the context of current shifts in forest composition caused by climate change, which could also affect recreation. Our findings suggest adding a forest composition lens to existing policies could facilitate strategies for more effective recreation management and climate change adaptation."