Journal Article

Value-adding through silvicultural flexibility: an operational level simulation study

Shuva Gautam, Luc LeBel and Daniel Beaudoin

in Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research

Published on behalf of Institute of Chartered Foresters

Volume 88, issue 2, pages 213-223
Published in print April 2015 | ISSN: 0015-752X
Published online November 2014 | e-ISSN: 1464-3626 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/forestry/cpu045
Value-adding through silvicultural flexibility: an operational level simulation study

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  • Conservation of the Environment (Environmental Science)
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry

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Forest products industry's competitiveness is influenced by the agility of wood procurement systems in delivering raw material to support downstream manufacturing activities. However, in a hierarchical forest management planning context, silvicultural treatments are prescribed and set as constraints for supply chain managers, restricting supply flexibility and consequently value-adding potential. This study was conducted with an objective of quantifying the benefits of improving wood procurement systems agility through flexibility in the choice of silvicultural treatments at the operational level. The aim was also to determine the range of conditions under which benefits from flexibility can be realized while accounting for the impact on long-term supply. We present a novel approach that integrates silvicultural options into operational-level decision-making to solve the multi-product, multi-industry problem with divergent flow. The approach entails solving a mixed integer programming model in a rolling planning horizon framework. Subsequently, we demonstrate benefits associated with integrating supply chain and silvicultural decisions through a case study. Future impact of exercising flexibility on long-term supply was accounted through incorporating costs associated with applying different silvicultural regimes. The presented approach will prove to be useful in implementing an adaptive forest management system that integrates the complexity of social, economic and ecological dimensions.

Journal Article.  7162 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Conservation of the Environment (Environmental Science) ; Environmental Sustainability ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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