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EUROPE AND THE FOREST - VOLUME 3
First part - THE FIFTEEN-MEMBER EUROPEAN UNION AND THE FOREST : STAKES AND STRATEGIES
     Chapter I.3 - EUROPEAN KNOW-HOW IN FORESTRY : A CHALLENGE TO ACCEPT
         I.3.4 MULTI-FUNCTIONALITY: A SPECIFICALLY EUROPEAN APPROACH ?
             I.3.4.1 - Ecological, production and social functions: a classic typology
                 A reference model...


A reference model...

The tables on the following pages which describe - though not exhaustively - the roles of each of these three functions, clearly illustrate their variety, importance and interactions.


MULTIPLE-FUNCTIONS FORESTS
A sample inventory

Ecological functions

REGULATION functions
CLIMATE

Temperature
Humidity
Atmospheric composition
Rainfall
 
Wind

 

- moderating role (albedo, evapotranspiration, etc.).
- moderating role (evapotranspiration, etc.).
- buffer role (carbon cycle, etc.).
- stimulates precipitation (increases rain fall volume, humidity,
rough surface, fog condensation, etc.).
- protects against wind action (hedges protect fields and buildings,
mixed woodland and pasture protect microclimates, roughness
slows windspeed down, stabilises dunes, etc.).

AIR QUALITY

Refinement
Purification

 

- fixes pollutants, recycling.
- diffuses essences and volatile components.

WATER SYSTEMS

Controlling rising water levels
Maintenance of low levels

 

- reduces surface runoff, increases concentration time in mountain basins.
- infiltration of excessive rainfall, water reserves, etc.

WATER QUALITY

Purification
Protecting water-catchment and supply areas
Reduction of sediment content in water flows

- fixes pollutants, recycling.
- reduction of sources of pollution.
SOIL MAINTENANCE

Reduction of diffuse erosion
Reduction of erosion in fragile areas
Soil reconstitution

- protects from the impact of rain, soil stabilisation.
- physical protection, reduces surface runoff.
PROTECTION functions
AGAINST NATURAL RISKS- torrential and sudden rises in water levels, avalanches, land slides and falling rock.
AGAINST NOISE- filtering effect.
PRESERVATION functions
BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

Maintenance of current diversity
Preservation of future diversity at the local level
Preservation of future diversity in land-use planning

 

- provides conservation at all levels (genetic, species and habitat diversity).
- preserves evolution potential;
- maintains liaisons and corridors.
- provides dynamic conservation by linking up forest areas into a network.




MULTIPLE-FUNCTIONS FORESTS
A sample inventory

Economic functions

PRODUCTION function
WOOD

Industrial wood
 
 
 
Fuelwood

 

- material support for other functions;
- wood for building and industry;
- industrially processed wood products: sawnwood, furniture, joinery
pieces, frames, panels, paper and paperboard, etc.
- industrial use;
- domestic use (heating and cooking).

OTHER RAW MATERIALS

Wood-derived chemicals
 
 
 
Other chemicals derived from the ecosystem
 
Game fowl
 
Cork and bark
Decorative plants
 
 
Other non-wood products

 

- essences, resins, food flavourings (strawberry, liquorice);
- various chemical substances;
- tannin, latex;
- organoleptic substances used in oenology (barrel production).
- aromatic and medicinal plants;
- molecules used in food and pharmaceutical processing.
- source of food;
- source of leisure and hunting activities.
- isolation, cork stoppers, tannins, etc.
- production of specific plants: Christmas trees, branches;
- remains from clearing and pruning;
- direct forest supply (boxwood, holly, foam, etc.).
- gathering for domestic or commercial use (mushrooms, small fruit, chestnuts, honey, seasonal flowers, etc.).

ACTIVITIES and SERVICES
Environment for recreation and providing nourishment
Reserve of land
 
Hunting
Leisure activities and tourism
Land use planning
- wild plant life;
- domestic plant life: specific cultivation systems, grazing.
- agricultural and mining resources (tropical forests);
- urbanisation, and access routes.
- hunting rights.
- remunerated activities (see Social functions, recreational functions).
- source of employment;
- maintains rural activities.
- creation of rural infrastructure networks.



MULTPLE-FUNCTIONS FORESTS
A sample inventory

Social functions

LANDSCAPE function
Rural landscape
Urban landscape (trees and green areas)
- landscape design: opening, closing, density and volume, etc.
- artificial landscape embellishment function.
RECREATIONAL function
Leisure-relaxation
 
Leisure-sports
 
Leisure-culture
 
Eco-tourism
- using specific visitor reception facilities or not;
- search for peace and quiet, fresh air, getting away and freedom - the anti-city approach.
- sports activities with or without equipment;
- hunting, fishing.
- discovering natural environments;
- artistic activities: photography, painting, etc.
EDUCATIONAL function
Information - sensitising
 
 
Eco-citizenship education
For everyone, through:
- contact between foresters and the public;
- organisation of events (guided visits, day-long initiation programmes, etc.).
For children, through:
- educational visits to the forest;
- incorporation of the forest theme into educational programmes;
- co-operation between foresters and educators.
CULTURAL function
History
 
 
Myths
 
Aesthetic and spiritual values
- create a forest-society link throughout generations;
- protection of archaeological remains and historical monuments;
- temporal record of different forest events: dendrochronology, anthracology, palynology, etc.
- symbolism;
- imagery.
- aesthetics: the landscape, artistic inspiration (music, painting, etc.) and literature;
- initiatory.
STRICT SENSE SOCIAL function
Standard of living of populations
Land use planning
See Economic function, activities and services.

The forest is a complex ecosystem and its heritage and functioning provide numerous services to society, traditionally separated into three groups:





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