A range of computer models exist for simulating forest growth, with different model functions, spatial resolutions and regional calibration specifications. Choosing a suitable simulator is difficult due to its abundance and complexity. The aim of the project is to evaluate a simulator that could be adapted to conditions in Switzerland and used to support decision‐making processes in both forest enterprises and scientific contexts. Fourteen potentially suitable forest growth simulators were identified through a literature review, which was then narrowed down to four: BWINPro, SILVA, MOSES and PrognAus. In the second phase, these were systematically evaluated in terms of functionality and software structure using AHP, in order to identify a suitable simulator. The AHP evaluation entailed: (1) determining the decision criteria and hierarchy, (2) performing pairwise comparisons and calculating the utility values and (3) conducting a sensitivity analysis. AHP was found to provide a transparent, verifiable evaluation process for simulator selection. This enabled a critical argumentation and assessment of the simulators. In the third phase, not covered by this article, the selected simulator will be parametrised for Swiss conditions and incorporated into an overarching decision‐support system for forest planning and management.
Part of the book: Applications and Theory of Analytic Hierarchy Process