Permanent forest

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Permanent forest (synonymous with "permanent mixed forest") describes a high forest form for forestry wood production, which is strictly based on the so-called "continuity of the forest as a living organism". The term permanent forest comes from Alfred Möller , who made it the title of his eponymous publication in 1922 and thus introduced the silvicultural scientific term into the German specialist discussion.

To the history of the term

The so-called Bärenthorener Kiefernwirtschaft is considered to be the cradle of Möller's permanent forest idea, which Baron Friedrich von Kalitsch founded in Bärenthoren in Fläming in 1884 as an autodidact and private forest owner in his forest. Möller had this forest scientifically investigated intensively after 1910 (i.e. after approx. 25 years of silvicultural work) and came to the conclusion that with consistent protection and targeted care of the forest cybernetic self-optimization processes of the forest ecosystem (i.e. the continuity of the "forest organism") the useful forest is higher It is able to provide services as comparable forests on similar locations in conventional management of the so-called age group forest with abrupt cultivation.

Technical content

According to Möller, the goal of silviculture is to "permanently" preserve the forest as a production system, i.e. to view and harvest the wood itself only as the "fruit" of the forest without interrupting its biological production system. Accordingly, Möller defined five technical sub-goals that must be strictly observed in management:

  1. State of equilibrium of all members peculiar to the forest; H. Consistently clearing-free management through the use of individual trees and extensive avoidance of biological / ecological damage to the system
  2. Soil health and activity, d. H. Protection and care of the soil environment
  3. Mixed tillering
  4. Unequal age
  5. a living wood supply sufficient everywhere to produce wood value

Möller's economic model overwhelmed the forestry knowledge of his time despite the enormous academic echo that his writing received in the mid-1920s. Since the publication of his revolutionary forest management paper, there have been repeated attempts to translate his ideas into practice in forest management (e.g. in 1923, 1934, after 1945 through the establishment of the Working Group on Natural Forest Management (ANW) and finally in the GDR in the mid-1950s ) each failed due to resolute, internal resistance, namely the forest sciences and forest administrations . Only with the introduction of the state-wide deforestation-free forest management by the Saarland Economics Minister Hajo Hoffmann (SPD) and his forestry chief Wilhelm Bode in Saarland in 1987 did the concept of permanent forest as the guiding principle of forest management gain increasing acceptance also in the public forest companies in Germany. The Saarland reform met with great journalistic and political interest and, together with the book Waldwende u. a. a SPIEGEL cover story, which significantly aroused the attention of politicians and helped the forest policy reform to break through. In particular, nature conservation demands the introduction of permanent forest management over the entire area, as it is clearly superior to age group management from the point of view of “biological” sustainability . The permanent mixed forest is based on the use of single logs without significantly damaging the forest's biological production system, which leads to biological structural richness and to biologically more mature mixed forests with a high number of niches and favors “gentle operating techniques” in the wood harvest.

Most of the West German federal states in particular are now committed to the permanent forest idea, even if its implementation in the area is only rarely tackled consistently. Political and public acceptance is now also secured by the fact that a number of private forest operations (mainly in noble hands), some of which have consistently been operating according to this since the 1920s, are not only among the most natural but are also the most profitable forest operations in Germany . Ultimately, according to the unanimous opinion in forest science, permanent forests are considered to be the most suitable economic model for countering the effects of climate change through the diversity of tree species, genetic diversity, natural regeneration, structural abundance, internal forest climate, etc. The resilience of permanent forests is of particular importance from the point of view of increasing susceptibility to calamities (e.g. caused by insect calamities , increasing wind speeds , wet snow, etc.) as a result of a higher energy content in the atmosphere . While age-class forests tend to be destroyed over a large area (bare areas), these are very rare in permanent forests. The multi-layered forest structure remains largely intact and the forest continues to grow with increased growth as early as the year after the disaster.

On December 20, 2011, the first private German permanent forest foundation, the non-profit permanent forest foundation in Pomerania , was established in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania on the initiative of Wilhelm Bode on behalf of the forest-owner Eckhard Wenzlaff, the forest spokesman for NABU .

A distinction is to be made between permanent forest and the so-called permanent forest contract (also known as the “contract of the century”) of the municipal association of Greater Berlin with the Royal Prussian state for forest acquisition from 1915. This does not refer to the forestry term permanent forest , but means one for an unlimited duration concluded contract.


  • Alfred Möller: The permanent forest concept. Its meaning and its meaning . Springer, Berlin 1922 (in: Wilhelm Bode, annotated reprint, with introduction and glossary, Degreif, Oberteuringen 1992).
  • Wilhelm Bode, Martin von Hohnhorst: forest turn. From forest forest to natural forest , Munich 1994 (4th edition Munich 2000, ISBN 3-406-45984-6 )
  • Hans Lemmel : The organism idea in Möller's permanent forest concept . Springer, Berlin 1939.
  • Irene Seling: On the transfer of age group forest into permanent forest. Attempt of an empirical economic analysis in the Erdmannhausen Forestry Office . Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg, Institute for Forest Economics, Freiburg im Breisgau 1996.
  • Irene Seling: The permanent forest movement in the years between 1880 and 1930. A socio-historical analysis , Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Institute for Forest Economics, Freiburg im Breisgau 1997.
  • Günter Pietschmann (compilation): Literature collection on the history of the Bärenthoren district, the Friedrich Kalitsch family and the permanent forest . State forest administration Saxony-Anhalt, Magdeburg 2002.
  • Ottomar Greger: Thoughts on the development of forest ecology on the basis of the permanent forest concept . Archive f. Forestry and Landscape ecol. 45 (2011) 4, 160-173.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Alfred Möller: The permanent forest thought. Its meaning and its meaning . Springer, Berlin 1922 (in: Wilhelm Bode: Commented reprint with glossary and introduction; Degreif, Oberteuringen 1992 p. 39ff.)
  2. Alfred Möller : The permanent forest thought. Its meaning and its meaning . Springer, Berlin 1922 (in: Wilhelm Bode : Annotated Reprint with Glossary and Introduction; Degreif, Oberteuringen 1992, p. 56)
  3. Alfred Möller: The permanent forest thought. Its meaning and its meaning . Springer, Berlin 1922 (in: Wilhelm Bode: Annotated Reprint with Glossary and Introduction; Degreif, Oberteuringen 1992, p. 11)
  4. a b Wilhelm Bode, Martin von Hohnhorst: Forest turning. From forest forest to natural forest , Munich 1994 (4th edition Munich 2000, ISBN 3-406-45984-6 )
  5. The eco-forest. Prescription against forest dieback , Spiegel No. 48/1994 .
  6. ^ Wilhelm Bode (ed.): Natural forest management. Process protection or biological sustainability ? , Holm 1997, ISBN 3-930720-31-0