Forests have a variety of functions, which might have positive effects for the forest owners as well as for the well-fare of the general population. This potential to satisfy people's needs is contrasted by the manifold and varying demand of the population, which might lead to conflicts concerning the decision on the appropriate land use. A systematic analysis of possible land uses and production opportunities, which includes different perspectives could be helpful to reduce such conflicts. We present three different points of view, a “habitat perspective” (which is rather ecologically motivated), a “service perspective” (which has a stronger economic focus), and a “landscape system perspective” (which aims at being integrative). It is shown, how these different perspectives can affect decisions related to the criteria “sustainability” and “efficiency”. It is concluded that the landscape system approach provides a useful basis for decision-making. However, it should not be seen as a substitute for the habitat or the service perspective, but merely as an important complementary approach.

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