Research areas
We strive to produce quality research in co-creation with relevant stakeholders.

We are interested in developing conceptual, as well as empirically-grounded studies, maintaining a good balance between well-established and emerging theories and topics.

Our publication platforms include scientific journals, as well as other scientific publications such as books, reports, and dissertations. Recent scientific articles have been published in the following journals: Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Ecological Economics, Ecological Indicators, Ecosystem services, Forest Policy and Economics, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Cleaner Production, Journal of Forest Economics, Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, Silva Fennica, Small-scale Forestry.

Our main research areas of interest are listed below, exemplified by recently published key articles. Statistics about research impact can be found here.

Bioeconomy and other sustainability visions

We are interested in what and how pathways towards sustainability transformations are created; who takes part to those processes; how various concepts and approaches overlap or complement each other, and what solutions are missing. Examples of our publications include the following.

Luhas, J., Mikkilä, M., Kylkilahti, E., Miettinen, J., Malkamäki, A., Pätäri, S., Korhonen, J., Pekkanen, T-L., Tuppura, A., Lähtinen, K., Autio, M., Linnanen, L., Ollikainen, M., Toppinen, A. 2021. Pathways to a forest-based bioeconomy in 2060 within policy targets on climate change mitigation and biodiversity protection. Forest Policy and Economics, 131, 102551.

Toppinen, A., Korhonen, J., Hurmekoski, E., Hansen, E. 2017. What makes a European forest-based bioeconomy competitive? in: Winkel, G. Towards a Sustainable European Forest-Based Bioeconomy: Assessment and the way forward. European Forest Institute.

D'Amato, D., Droste, N., Allen, B., Kettunen, Lähtinen, K., Korhonen, K., Leskinen, P., Matthies, B.D., Toppinen, A. 2017. Green, circular, bio economy: A comparative analysis of sustainability avenues. Journal of Cleaner Production 168,  716-734.

Matthies, B.D., D’Amato, D., Berghäll, S., Ekholm, T., Hoen, H.F., Holopainen, J., Korhonen, J.E., Lähtinen, K., Mattila, O., Toppinen, A., Valsta, L., Wang, L., Yousefpour, R. 2016. An ecosystem service-dominant logic? - integrating the ecosystem service approach and the service-dominant logic. Journal of Cleaner Production 124, 51–64.

Pätäri, S., Tuppura, A., Toppinen, A., Korhonen, J., 2015. Global sustainability megaforces in shaping the future of the European pulp and paper industry towards a bioeconomy. Forest Policy Economics 66, 38–46.

Forest products industry, trade and marketing

Integration of private sector and enhancement of industrial value-chains are among the crucial elements of sustainability transformations in the forest-based sector. By identifying and evaluating the strategies and relationships of power between actors with different objectives, values and aspirations, we increase our  understanding on  the future trajectory of the forest-based sectors and their sustainability. Furthermore, we apply integrative approaches to analyze forest-based good and service markets, including how the market dynamics are influenced by policies and changing societal values.

Hurmekoski, E., Smyth, C.E., Stern, T., Verkerk, P.J., Asada, R., 2021. Substitution impacts of wood use at the market level: a systematic review. Environmental Research Letters 16, 123004.

Heiskanen, A., Hurmekoski, E., Toppinen, A., Näyhä, A., 2022. Exploring the unknowns – State of the art in qualitative forest-based sector foresight research. Forest Policy and Economics 135, 102643.

Viholainen, N., Franzini, F., Lähtinen, K., Nyrud, A. Q., Widmark, C., Hoen, H. F. & Toppinen, A. 2021. Citizen views on wood as a construction material: results from seven European countries. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 51, 647–659.

D'Amato, D., Veijonaho, S., Toppinen, A. 2018. Towards Sustainability? Forest-based circular bioeconomy business models in Finnish SME. Forest Policy and Economics 110, 101848. 

Kuuluvainen, J., Korhonen, J., Xu, D., Toppinen, A. 2018. Price integration for domestic and imported sawlogs and pulpwood in Finland: an update. Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research 33, 71-80.

Hansen, E., Conroy, K., Toppinen, A., Bull, L., Kutnar, A. Panwar, R. 2016. Does gender diversity matter in the global forest sector companies? Canadian Journal of Forest Research 46, 1255-1263.

Häyrinen, L. E. E., Mattila, O. P. A., Berghäll, S. A., Toppinen, A. M. K., Närhi, M. K.  2016. Exploring the future use of forests: perceptions from non-industrial private forest owners in Finland. Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, 12 51-64.

Ecosystem services and socio-ecological systems

We focus on understanding the inter-dependencies connecting societies, organizations and forests, towards socially legitimate and sustainable governance of socio-ecological systems. Our work encompasses the assessment of trade-offs among forest ecosystem services under land use changes, the evaluation of the human impacts and dependencies on ecosystem services and natural capital, and the analysis of the behaviour of the many actors involved in forest governance. Although we emphasise empirical analyses in diverse contexts, we also hold more theoretical contributions to the literature in high regard. Recent examples of our publications in high-impact journals include the following.

Malkamäki, A., D'Amato, D., Hogarth, N., Kanninen, M., Pirard, R., Toppinen, A., Zhou, W. 2018. A systematic review of the socio-economic impacts of large-scale tree plantations, worldwide. Global Environmental Change 53, 90-103.

La Notte, A., D'amato, D., Mäkinen, H., Paracchini, M. L., Liquete, C., Egoh, B., Geneletti, . D., Crossman, N. 2017. Ecosystem services classification: A systems ecology perspective of the cascade framework. Ecological Indicators 74, 392-402.

D’Amato, D., Rekola, M., Li, D., Toppinen, A. 2016. Monetary valuation of forest ecosystem services in China: A literature review and identification of future research needs. Ecological Economics 121, 75–84. 

Matthies, B.D., Kalliokoski, T., Eyvindson, K., Honkela, N., Hukkinen, J.I., Kuusinen, N., Räisänen, P., Valsta, L. 2016. Nudging service providers and assessing service trade-offs to reduce the social inefficiencies of Payments for Ecosystem Services schemes. Environmental Science & Policy 55, 228–237.

Malkamäki, A., Toppinen, A., Kanninen, M. 2016. Impacts of land use and land use changes on the resilience of beekeeping in Uruguay. Forest Policy and Economics 70, 113-123.

Forest economics and management

Forest economics and management combines the various economic criteria of decision-making with the function of the forest ecosystem. Thus, we are concerned with assessing the choices operated by different decision makers in land-use management related to forests, whose values and goals may differ considerably. We also assess the consequences to forest systems with a focus on productivity and other ecosystem services. The reaction of forest systems to forestry operations is usually described by dynamical models, generally leading to investment analyses and optimization.

Matthies, B.M., Bredahl Jacobsen J., Knoke T., Paul, C., Valsta, L.T. 2019. Utilising portfolio theory in environmental research – new perspectives and considerations. Journal of Environmental Management, 231C, 926-939.

Valsta, L., Bredahl Jacobsen, J. 2018. Optimizing the management of European mixed forests. Pp 381-396 in: Dynamics, silviculture and management of mixed forests (Bravo-Oviedo A, Pretzsch H, del Río M (eds.). 420+10 p. Springer series in Managing forest ecosystems 31. Springer. Cham, Switzerland.

Karppinen, H., Hänninen, M., Valsta, L. 2018. Forest owners’ views on storing carbon in their forests. Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research 33, 7, 708-715.

Hurttala, H., Cao, T., Valsta, L. 2017. Optimization of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) management with the total net return from the value chain. Journal of Forest Economics, 28, 1-11.

Hurttala, H., Cao, T., Valsta, L. 2017. Optimization of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) management with the total net return from the value chain. Journal of Forest Economics, 28, 1-11.