Non-timber values of the forest have been subject to much attention in Sweden during the last decades. Of special interest in this respect are the diminishing and species rich broad-leaved forests in southern Sweden. During the late 1900s many of these forests were converted to monocultures of Norway spruce (Picea abies L. Karst.) and other conifers at a high and accelerating pace. While the consequences of this change on biodiversity are currently studied on a broad scale, recreational values, although recognized, have only been subject to a limited number of scientific studies.
In the current study, we focused on timber values and recreational values of coniferous and broad-leaved forests in southern Sweden. The first objective was to model the timber value of different management alternatives including spruce or beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) at a typical southern Swedish forest site. The site expectation value for spruce was considerably higher than for beech. The second objective was to include recreational values in monetary terms in the model. The estimated required level of marginal willingness-to-pay for an increase in the area of beech forest in the county of Skåne was very low, indicating that regeneration of beech may be superior to spruce from a socio-economic point of view.