Potential stocks and increments of woody biomass in the European Union under different management and climate scenarios

The aim of the project was to analyze two contrary and yet sustainable forest management options under the influence of climate change: maximization of forest stock and maximization of forest increment.

Biomass © K. Platzer | IIASA

Biomass

The results of this study suggest that forest management should maximize increments, not stocks, to be more efficient in the sense of climate change mitigation. This is especially true for regions that have already high carbon stocks in forests, which is the case in many regions in Europe.

During 2010–2100 the forests of EU27 will absorb an additional 1750 million tC if they are managed to maximize increments as opposed to being managed to maximize standing biomass.

Incentives that will increase the standing biomass beyond the increment optimal biomass should therefore be avoided. Mechanisms which will maximize increments and sustainable harvests need to be developed to have substantial amounts of wood which can be used as substitution of non sustainable materials [1]. 

Figure 1

Figure 1. Stem carbon development under conditions of baseline and three climate change scenarios (A1b, B1 and E1) and three management scenarios (maximise stocking biomass, maximise increments with and without change of species).


References

[1] Kindermann GE, Schörghuber S, Linkosalo T, Sanchez A, Rammer W, Seidl R, Lexer ML (2013). Potential stocks and increments of woody biomass in the European Union under different management and climate scenarios. Carbon Balance and Management, 8:2 doi:10.1186/1750-0680-8-2.

Collaborators

Finnish Forest Research Institute (Finland);
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (Austria);
Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (Spain).


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Last edited: 22 May 2014

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