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Potential effects of intensive forestry on biomass production and total carbon balance in north-central Sweden
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development. (Ecotechnology)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3208-7003
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development. (Ecotechnology)
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development. (Ecotechnology)
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
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2012 (English)In: Environmental Science and Policy, ISSN 1462-9011, E-ISSN 1873-6416, Vol. 15, no 1, p. 106-124Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We quantify the potential effects of intensive forest management activities on forest production in north-central Sweden over the next 100 years, and calculate the potential climate change mitigation feedback effect due to the resulting increased carbon stock and increased use of forest products. We analyze and compare four different forest management scenarios (Reference, Environment, Production, and Maximum), all of which include the expected effects of climate change based on SRES B2 scenario. Forest management practices are intensified in Production scenario, and further intensified in Maximum scenario. Four different models, BIOMASS, HUGIN, Q-model, and Substitution model, were used to quantify net primary production, forest production and harvest potential, soil carbon, and biomass substitution of fossil fuels and non-wood materials, respectively. After integrating the models, our results show that intensive forestry may increase forest production by up to 26% and annual harvest by up to 19%, compared to the Reference scenario. The greatest single effect on the carbon balance is from using increased biomass production to substitute for fossil fuels and energy intensive materials. Carbon stocks in living tree biomass, forest soil and wood products also increase. In total, a net carbon emission reduction of up to 132 Tg (for Maximum scenario) is possible during the next 100 years due to intensive forest management in two Swedish counties, Jämtland and Västernorrland. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 15, no 1, p. 106-124
Keywords [en]
Carbon emission reduction; Climate change; Forest biomass; Forest management; Wood substitution
National Category
Environmental Sciences Forest Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-14713DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2011.09.005ISI: 000301326000011Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-83255187159OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-14713DiVA, id: diva2:455931
Available from: 2011-11-11 Created: 2011-11-11 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Forest biomass production potential and its implications for carbon balance
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Forest biomass production potential and its implications for carbon balance
2012 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

An integrated methodological approach is used to analyse the forest biomass production potential in the Middle Norrland region of Sweden, and its use to reduce carbon emissions. Forest biomass production, forest management, biomass harvest, and forest product use are analyzed in a system perspective considering the entire resource flow chains. The system-wide carbon flows as well as avoided carbon emissions are quantified for the activities of forest biomass production, harvest, use and substitution of non-biomass materials and fossil fuels. Five different forest management scenarios and two biomass use alternatives are developed and used in the analysis. The analysis is divided into four main parts. In the first part, plant biomass production is estimated using principles of plant-physiological processes and soil-water dynamics. Biomass production is compared under different forest management scenarios, some of which include the expected effects of climate change based on IPCC B2 scenario. In the second part, forest harvest potentials are estimated based on plant biomass production data and Swedish national forest inventory data for different forest management alternatives. In the third part, soil carbon stock changes are estimated for different litter input levels from standing biomass and forest residues left in the forest during the harvest operations. The fourth and final part is the estimation of carbon emissions reduction due to the substitution of fossil fuels and carbon-intensive materials by the use of forest biomass. Forest operational activities such as regeneration, pre-commercial thinning, commercial thinning, fertilisation, and harvesting are included in the analysis. The total carbon balance is calculated by summing up the carbon stock changes in the standing biomass, carbon stock changes in the forest soil, forest product carbon stock changes, and the substitution effects. Fossil carbon emissions from forest operational activities are calculated and deducted to calculate the net total carbon balance.The results show that the climate change effect most likely will increase forest biomass production over the next 100 years compared to a situation with unchanged climate. As an effect of increased biomass production, there is a possibility to increase the harvest of usable biomass. The annual forest biomass production and harvest can be further increased by the application of more intensive forestry practices compared to practices currently in use. Deciduous trees are likely to increase their biomass production because of climate change effects whereas spruce biomass is likely to increase because of implementation of intensive forestry practices.IIIntensive forestry practices such as application of pre-commercial thinning, balanced fertilisation, and introduction of fast growing species to replace slow growing pine stands can increase the standing biomass carbon stock. Soil carbon stock increase is higher when only stem-wood biomass is used, compared to whole-tree biomass use. The increase of carbon stocks in wood products depends largely on the magnitude of harvest and the use of the harvested biomass. The biomass substitution benefits are the largest contributor to the total carbon balance, particularly for the intensive forest management scenario when whole-tree biomass is used and substitutes coal fuel and non-wood construction materials. The results show that the climate change effect could provide up to 104 Tg carbon emissions reduction, and intensive forestry practices may further provide up to 132 Tg carbon emissions reduction during the next 100 years in the area studied.This study shows that production forestry can be managed to balance biomass growth and harvest in the long run, so that the forest will maintain its capacity to increase standing biomass carbon and provide continuous harvests. Increasing standing biomass in Swedish managed forest may not be the most effective strategy to mitigate climate change. Storing wood products in building materials delays the carbon emissions into the atmosphere, and the wood material in the buildings can be used as biofuel at the end of a building life-cycle to substitute fossil fuels.These findings show that the forest biomass production potential in the studied area increases with climate change and with the application of intensive forestry practices. Intensive forestry practice has the potential for continuous increased biomass production which, if used to substitute fossil fuels and materials, could contribute significantly to net carbon emissions reductions and help mitigate climate change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Östersund: Mid Sweden University, 2012. p. 50
Series
Mid Sweden University licentiate thesis, ISSN 1652-8948 ; 87
National Category
Forest Science Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-17281 (URN)978-91-87103-27-8 (ISBN)
Available from: 2012-10-30 Created: 2012-10-30 Last updated: 2013-12-06Bibliographically approved
2. Carbon Balance Implications Of Forest Biomass Production Potential
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Carbon Balance Implications Of Forest Biomass Production Potential
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Forests in boreal and temperate forest-ecosystems have an important function since they sequester atmospheric carbon by uptake of carbon-dioxide in photosynthesis, and transfer and store carbon in the forest ecosystem. Forest material can be used for bio-fuel purposes and substitute fossil fuels, and supply wood products, which can replace carbon- and energy-intensive materials. Therefore it is vital to consider the role of forests regarding today´s aim to mitigate climate change. This thesis assess (i) how climate change affects future forest carbon balance, (ii) the importance of different strategies for forest management systems, and biomass production for the carbon balance, (iii) how the use of forest production affect the total carbon balance in a lifecycle perspective, and (iv) how the Swedish carbon balance is affected from the standpoint of both the actual use of forest raw material within Sweden and what Swedish forestry exports. The analysis was made mainly in a long-term perspective (60-300 year) to illustrate the importance of temporal and also the spatial perspective, as the analysis includes stand level, landscape level, and national level. In this thesis, forestry was considered a system. All activities, from forest regeneration to end use of forest products, were entities of this system. In the evaluation, made from a systems perspective, we used life-cycle analysis to estimate carbon stock in different system flows. Different forest management systems and forest production were integrated in the analyses. Different forest management scenarios were designed for the Swedish forest management in combination with the effect of future climate change; (i) intensive forest practice aiming at increased growth, (ii) increased forest set-aside areas, changes in forest management systems for biomass production, and (iii) how the use of forest production affect the total carbon balance (construction material, bioenergy and other domestic use). The results showed that future climate changes and intensive forest management with increased production could increase the biomass production and the potential use of forest raw material. This has a positive effect on carbon storage for the forest carbon stock, litter production and carbon storage in the ground etc. and help mitigating carbon-dioxide. Increased forest set-aside areas can increase the short-term carbon stock in forest ecosystems, but will reduce the total long-term carbon balance. The net carbon balance for clear-cut forestry did not differ significantly from continuous-cover forestry, but was rather a question of level of growth. Most important, in the long term, was according to our analysis, how forest raw material is used. Present Swedish forestry and use of forest raw material, both within Sweden and abroad, reduce carbon-dioxide emissions and mitigate climate change. The positive effect for the total carbon balance and climate benefit take place mostly abroad, due to the Swedish high level of export of wood products and the higher substitution effects achieved outside Swedish borders. One strategy is to increase production, harvest and change the use of Swedish forest raw material to replace more carbon intensive material, which can contribute to significant emission reduction. Carbon-dioxide mitigation, as a result of present Swedish forestry, was shown to be almost of the same level as the total yearly emission of greenhouse gases. The total carbon benefit would increase if the biomass production and felling increased and if Swedish wood products replaced carbon intensive materials.This thesis shows also that, by changing forest management, increase the growth and the use of forest raw material and export of forest material we can contribute to even larger climate benefits. In a long-term perspective, the substitution effects and replacement of carbon- and energy-intensive materials are of greater significance than carbon storage effects in forests. A more production oriented forestry needs to make balances and increase the prerequisite for biological diversity, improve recreation possibilities, and protect sensitive land areas and watersheds.Climate benefits, from Swedish forestry, are highly dependent on policy decision-making and how that can steer the direction for the Swedish forestry.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Östersund: Mid Sweden University, 2014. p. 80
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 193
National Category
Forest Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-22075 (URN)978-91-87557-66-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-06-10, Q221, Mittuniversitetet, Östersund, 10:00 (English)
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-06-03 Created: 2014-06-03 Last updated: 2014-08-27Bibliographically approved

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Poudel, Bishnu ChandraSathre, RogerBergh, JohanGustavsson, Leif

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