Using a diverse assemblage of suitable species for reforestation is necessary to enhance biodiversity and ensure resilient forest ecosystems. However, selection of diverse native species for reforestation is difficult, requiring consideration of the preferences of different stakeholders. In this study we identify species to be included in reforestation of an ecologically important watershed in North Lebanon based on ratings produced by stakeholders from Lebanon’s public, private and academic sectors. Twenty-two tree species being produced in Lebanese nurseries were identified as ecologically suitable by experts. Stakeholders (n = 34) were asked to rate these 22 species according to conservation priority and ecological suitability in an online survey. Although there was a high degree of variability in ratings among respondents, those who identified as biodiversity-focused did not differ from those who identified as forestry-focused. Looking within the two foci, we found significant variability among forestry-focused respondents but not among biodiversity-focused respondents. Although there was no significant difference in ratings between biodiversity- and forestry-focussed respondents, the resultant rankings differed considerably. We also found significant variability in preferences within forestry-focussed but not biodiversity-focussed respondents. Weighting by respondents’ knowledge of species had little effect on rankings. The variability in preferences between stakeholders, including the considerable within-group variability we found among forestry-focused respondents, highlights the importance of soliciting preferences from multiple stakeholders when selecting species to be used in reforestation efforts.
(PDF) Using stakeholder preferences to select.... Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325519987_Using_stakeholder_preferences_to_select_native_tree_species_for_reforestation_in_Lebanon [accessed Aug 17 2018].