Estimation of recreational potential of urban forests
Abstract: The aim of this study was to evaluate two typical recreational forests in Russia and Sweden in terms of their potential for recreation. The study of Russian and Scandinavian literature was carried out as a background for the analyses of the obtained results. With these analyses the possible trends, weaknesses and strengths of the both recreational forests as well as the advantages and disadvantages of the selected method were planned to be studied. 292 forest stands covering 256.3 ha of the national park "Losiny Ostrov" (Russia) and 101 forest stands covering 198.5 ha of the Torup forest (Sweden) were investigated by the study. The selected method examines recreational forest from its attraction and comfort for visitors and tolerance (stability) to anthropogenic influence. The outcome of the estimation is based on integral assessment of these three categories, which express the recreational potential as Class of Recreational Value (CRV). The lowest results are registered among indices of stability category. It confirmed the study hypothesis about determinative function of these indices and stability category as a whole in estimation of recreational potential of forests. In about 90% of the stands in the both surveyed areas, restrictions and limits for precise recreation utilization and sustainable development in the future were recommended due to the low stability/high sensitivity of the forests. The main differences between the results from the two areas were found with regards to the attraction and comfort categories owing to social specific and traditions in forest management of the countries. The analysis showed that the method mainly corresponds with many statements of other studies in the subject. Generally the method considered as quite objective and reliable one. Nevertheless the study found it recommendable to rewrite or modify some weak points of the method but only with respect to tradition and specific of country or forest type. For the both case areas accurate forest management has to be well balanced between recreation and other forest uses. One of the main decisions should be increase the amount of, and qualities related to mature stands. This definitely could increase first of all aesthetic values of the areas.
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