We estimate the value of using different sets of survey
information to prioritize and select retention trees to achieve a given level of biodiversity conservation. The value of information is the difference in the cost of a random selection of retention trees without observing tree attributes and a prioritized selection of retention trees based on a set of observed tree attributes. The value of information provides an upper limit for how much time can be spent examining tree attributes and prioritizing trees. Our conservation goal is representation of epiphytic lichens (growing on trees). There are more than 2400 lichen species in Sweden (Gärdenfors 2010) which are symbiotic associations between a fungus and a photobiont (green algae or cyanobacteria). It is a species-rich and well-studied species group with several species considered sensitive to forestry operations BMS754807 (Gärdenfors 2010). Epiphytic species http://www.selleckchem.com/products/abt-199.html are often used for measuring biodiversity response to retained trees (Rosenvald and Lõhmus, 2008). The fieldwork was carried out in the summer and autumn of 2009 in the eastern part of the counties of Jämtland and Västernorrland in boreal mid
Sweden. The selection of study clearcuts was made from all recently cut stands (between 2005 and 2009) by the forest company SCA and some smaller private forest owners in the region. We selected 12 clearcuts that were harvested 0–4 years earlier and had at least 30 retained living aspen trees (breast height diameter >10 cm) (Table 1). Within each of these clearcuts, 30 aspens (>5 m apart) were randomly
selected (from a total number often greatly exceeding 30 aspens per clearcut), using transects with randomly selected Bay 11-7085 starting points, yielding a total of 360 trees. On each tree, all epiphytic lichens on the stem up to a height of 2 m were recorded (presence only) (for data on lichens, see Lundström et al. 2013). The following tree attributes were also recorded on each tree, using a simple and coarse scale from 1 to 3: diameter at breast height, tree age, bark crevice depth, speckled appearance of the bark, black-colored bark, cover of epiphytic bryophytes, tree inclination, size and width of tree crown, branch size, slow tree growth (as evaluated by ocular inspection e.g. of the relationship between diameter and bark texture), and bark damage. For calculation of the economic value of each tree, we also measured the diameter in centimeters, the height of each tree with a digital clinometer, and the amount of wood rot by coring each tree with an increment borer. Aspen wood in this region of Sweden is generally used for pulp, so when calculating the economic value of each tree we used a current price list for pulpwood from the local forest owners association Norrskog, with a price of 236 SEK/m3.