Net climate impacts of forest biomass production and utilization in managed boreal forests
Kilpeläinen, Antti; Torssonen, Piritta; Strandman, Harri; Kellomäki, Seppo; Asikainen, Antti; Peltola, Heli (2016)
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Global change biology bioenergy
In this work, we studied the potentials offered by managed boreal forests and forestry to mitigate the climate change using forest-based materials and energy in substituting fossil-based materials (concrete and plastic) and energy (coal and oil). For this purpose, we calculated the net climate impacts (radiative forcing) of forest biomass production and utilization in the managed Finnish boreal forests (60 degrees-70 degrees N) over a 90-year period based on integrated use forest ecosystem model simulations (on carbon sequestration and biomass production of forests) and life-cycle assessment (LCA) tool. When studying the effects of management on the radiative forcing in a system integrating the carbon sink/sources dynamics in both biosystem and technosystem, the current forest management (baseline management) was used a reference management. Our results showed that the use of forest-based materials and energy in substituting fossil-based materials and energy would provide an effective option for mitigating climate change. The negative climate impacts could be further decreased by maintaining forest stocking higher over the rotation compared to the baseline management and by harvesting stumps and coarse roots in addition to logging residues in the final felling. However, the climate impacts varied substantially over time depending on the prevailing forest structure and biomass assortment (timber, energy biomass) used in substitution.
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