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Climate mitigation forestry-temporal trade-offs

Skytt, Torbjorn and Englund, Goran and Jonsson, Bengt-Gunnar (2021). Climate mitigation forestry-temporal trade-offs. Environmental Research Letters. 16 , 114037
[Research article]

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The 1.5 degrees C target for global warming calls for evaluating short-term (30-50 years) climate change mitigation with different forests usage. In the current scientific literature and in the public debate, there are contrasting views on how forests should be managed to maximize total climate benefit, including the use of products and changes in carbon pools. Three major factors influence the conclusions in different studies: (a) time horizon, (b) site productivity, (c) substitution calculations. Here we show the dependency among these factors by an analysis of four harvest scenarios: 95%, 60%, 40% and 0% of growth, which are compared to a business as usual scenario (80%). The analyses are made for five counties in Sweden, which covers a wide range in forest productivities, from 2.5 m(3) ha(-1) yr(-1) (north) to 11.5 m(3) ha(-1) yr(-1) (south). The results show: (a) Reduced harvest levels provide increased climate benefits on short time scales (at least 50 years). (b) Increased harvesting from current level is counterproductive on both short and long term. (c) The potential effect on the carbon balance of a no-harvest scenario in the five counties, is larger (1.1-16 times) than the expected emissions from all other anthropogenic activities until 2045. (d) Short-term climate benefits of reduced harvesting are largest in highly productive forests. Smaller but more long-lasting benefits can be obtained by aiming at harvest reductions in less productive forests. (e) Strategies focused on short-term benefits need to be adapted to the future development of substitution factors and forest growth. If substitution effects become higher, increased harvest levels will be beneficial after 2050 in high productive forests. However, if future substitution effects decrease, which is a plausible and desired development, low harvest strategies are preferred in both short- and long-term time perspectives. We conclude that even moderate reductions of harvest levels would provide substantial climate benefits.

Authors/Creators:Skytt, Torbjorn and Englund, Goran and Jonsson, Bengt-Gunnar
Title:Climate mitigation forestry-temporal trade-offs
Series Name/Journal:Environmental Research Letters
Year of publishing :2021
Article number:114037
Number of Pages:11
Publisher:IOP Publishing Ltd
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Forest Science
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Climate Research
Keywords:carbon dioxide exchange, carbon balance, CO2 balance, substitution effect, boreal forest, climate benefit
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Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000714436900001
ID Code:26170
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:19 Nov 2021 08:25
Metadata Last Modified:19 Nov 2021 08:31

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