DSD - Decision Support Dobrova

DSD v1.0 (Decision Support Dobrova) has been developed for the treatment of secondary Scots pine forests of the Dobrova region in Carinthia, Austria. 
                     Background Major parts of the project area are located in the basin of Klagenfurt with a mean elevation of 550 m. The local term for the project area is the Dobrova, which is derived from the Slovenian term for "oak forest", potentially indicating the former forest association of the area. However, the current forests in the project area are dominated by Scots pine with Norway spruce as another crop species. These so-called secondary forests are particularly vulnerable to drought, windthrow, and an array of insect and disease organisms. To reduce the probability of possible risks in this area the conversion of secondary conifer forests into mixed-species stands which are better adapted to the site and are more tolerant to eventually changing environmental conditions (e.g., Matulla et al., 2002) is recommended. However, a decision on forest transformation needs to take into account the preferences of the landowner as well as their needs and constraints. The staff of the various extension services is thus challenged by multiple and often conflicting objectives of landowners with many decision criteria to be considered, and by complex problem structures involving short- and long-term planning horizons. Offering a few schematic solutions for the variety of possible stand/site combinations may not result in decisions fully satisfying the needs of the forest owners.

Project "DSD-Decision Support Dobrova"

The tool is particularly designed to support the consultation process of the local forest authority with forest landowners in forest management. In close cooperation with the local forest authorities a generic model of the consultation process was developed.

DSD v1.0 supports a planning process
which covers the phases of decision making:

  • identification the current states
    regarding site and stand conditions,
  • identification of owners expectations and preferences regarding a set of objectives,
  • selection and evaluation of management alternatives.


The overall objective was the development of a computer-based tool to support the forestry staff in the Dobrova region in preparing informed recommendations for forest management to landowners based on their goal preferences. The tool should assist the forestry staff in preparing official records for subsidy applications from landowners, including but not limited to, the calculation of costs for harvesting and stand tending operations.  The decision making process ended with a ranking of the available alternatives based on their preferentiality regarding the goal preferences of the landowner. The possible solutions to a problem are made available in a readily documented manner as on-screen graphs and tables as well as printed reports. In case the tool is used in a consultation with a landowner, one of the benefits of DSD v1.1 is that, by considering such interferences, the client can be immediately informed about the consequences of their interference.                                    If you are interested in this issue you are welcome to contact the responsible researchers at the Institute of Silviculture: