Journal article Open Access
Lovric Marko; Da Re, Riccardo; Vidale, Enrico; Prokofieva, Irina; Wong, Jennifer; Pettenella, Davide; Verkerk, Pieter Johannes; Mavsar, Robert
Mushrooms, berries and other Non-Wood Forest Products (NWFPs) are an important part of forest recreation, rural income and of cultural heritage. Due to poor data on their collection and use, they are often ignored in forest policy and management decisions, which could impair those livelihoods that depend on NWFPs as an income source. We conducted a survey involving 17,346 respondents from 28 European countries to estimate which and how much of these products are collected. Our results show that 26% of European households collect NWFPs and that collection rates and quantities increase from Western to Eastern Europe. Previous studies focused mainly on marketed NWFPs, but our findings suggest that marketed NWFPs represent only a small share and that 86% of the collected weight is self-consumed. The total value of NWFPs collected each year amounts to 71% of the value of annual roundwood production, much more than previously estimated. Our results point to the need to consider co-production of wood and NWFPs, especially in Central Europe where their value per hectare is the highest.