Integrating climate change criteria in reforestation projects using a hybrid decision-support system

Autores UPV
Revista Environmental Research Letters


The selection of appropriate species in a reforestation project has always been a complex decision making problem in which, due mostly to government policies and other stakeholders, not only economic criteria but also other environmental issues interact. Climate change has not usually been taken into account in traditional reforestation decision-making strategies and management procedures. Moreover, there is a lack of agreement on the percentage of each one of the species in reforestation planning, which is usually calculated in a discretionary way. In this context, an effective multicriteria technique has been developed in order to improve the process of selecting species for reforestation in the Mediterranean region of Spain. A hybrid Delphi-AHP methodology is proposed, which includes a consistency analysis in order to reduce random choices. As a result, this technique provides an optimal percentage distribution of the appropriate species to be used in reforestation planning. The highest values of the weight given for each subcriteria corresponded to FR (fire forest response) and PR (pests and diseases risk), because of the increasing importance of the impact of climate change in the forest. However, CB (conservation of biodiversitiy)was in the third position in line with the aim of reforestation. Therefore, the most suitable species were Quercus faginea (19.75%) and Quercus ilex (19.35%), which offer a good balance between all the factors affecting the success and viability of reforestation.