The Effect of Alternative Forest Management Models on the Forest Harvest and Emissions as Compared to the Forest Reference Level

Gusti, M., Di Fulvio, F. ORCID:, Biber, P., Korosuo, A., & Forsell, N. (2020). The Effect of Alternative Forest Management Models on the Forest Harvest and Emissions as Compared to the Forest Reference Level. Forests 11 (8) p. 794. 10.3390/f11080794.

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Project: Alternative models and robust decision-making for future forest management (ALTERFOR, H2020 676754)


Background and Objectives: Under the Paris Agreement, the European Union (EU) sets rules for accounting the greenhouse gas emissions and removals from forest land (FL). According to these rules, the average FL emissions of each member state in 2021–2025 (compliance period 1, CP1) and in 2026–2030 (compliance period 2, CP2) will be compared to a projected forest reference level (FRL). The FRL is estimated by modelling forest development under fixed forest management practices, based on those observed in 2000–2009. In this context, the objective of this study was to estimate the effects of large-scale uptake of alternative forest management models (aFMMs), developed in the ALTERFOR project (Alternative models and robust decision-making for future forest management), on forest harvest and forest carbon sink, considering that the proposed aFMMs are expanded to most of the suitable areas in EU27+UK and Turkey. Methods: We applied the Global Forest Model (G4M) for projecting the harvest and sink with the aFMMs and compared our results to previous FRL projections. The simulations were performed under the condition that the countries should match the harvest levels estimated for their FRLs as closely as possible. A representation of such aFMMs as clearcut, selective logging, shelterwood logging and tree species change was included in G4M. The aFMMs were modeled under four scenarios of spatial allocation and two scenarios of uptake rate. Finally, we compared our results to the business as usual. Results: The introduction of the aFMMs enhanced the forest sink in CP1 and CP2 in all studied regions when compared to the business as usual. Conclusions: Our results suggest that if a balanced mixture of aFMMs is chosen, a similar level of wood harvest can be maintained as in the FRL projection, while at the same time enhancing the forest sink. In particular, a mixture of multifunctional aFMMs, like selective logging and shelterwood, could enhance the carbon sink by up to 21% over the ALTERFOR region while limiting harvest leakages.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: forest management models; carbon sink; forest harvest; forest reference level; production forests; multifunctional forests; set-aside forests
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2020 13:02
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:33

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