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Critical biomass harvesting indicator for whole-tree extraction does not reflect the sensitivity of Swedish forest soils

Löfgren, Stefan and Stendahl, Johan and Karltun, Erik (2021). Critical biomass harvesting indicator for whole-tree extraction does not reflect the sensitivity of Swedish forest soils. Ecological Indicators. 132 , 108310
[Research article]

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Abstract

There is a growing societal demand to increase the use of forest biomass for substitution of fossil fuels. The production of this biomass must be sustainable and an indicator for critical biomass harvesting (CBH) has been suggested in order to sustain forest soil fertility and mitigate soil acidification at whole-tree harvesting. The CBH indicator is based on an acidity mass balance approach in line with the critical load of acid deposition (CL) concept. Countries like Sweden, the Netherlands and the state of Quebec, Canada apply such mass balance approaches for developing forest biomass harvesting guidelines. The implementation of this type of policy instrument may restrict the use of harvest residues for bioenergy and thereby the substitution of fossil fuels. It may as well affect the forestry sector revenue negatively. To maintain credibility for enforced limitations, it is important that the risk assessment and suggested policy implications are based on solid scientific methods and assumptions. The mass balance approach have been criticized for being too uncertain and not sufficiently validated for being used to guide ecosystem management. In this paper we use published Swedish data on soils, acid deposition, forest production and information from international scientific literature to critically examine the CBH indicator. We conclude that the CBH indicator 1) does not account for all relevant processes 2) it exaggerates the sensitivity and correlates poorly to actual forest soil acid-base status and edaphic conditions and 3) data availability does not allow the indicator to be calculated at a high enough spatial resolution for advice on management for forest owners. The concerns for the mass-balance approach and CBH indicator are discussed in an international perspective.

Authors/Creators:Löfgren, Stefan and Stendahl, Johan and Karltun, Erik
Title:Critical biomass harvesting indicator for whole-tree extraction does not reflect the sensitivity of Swedish forest soils
Series Name/Journal:Ecological Indicators
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:132
Article number:108310
Number of Pages:8
Publisher:ELSEVIER
ISSN:1470-160X
Language:English
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 > Soil Science
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Forest Science
Keywords:Acidity mass-balance, Forest biomass harvesting, Soil acidity, Soil nutrient depletion, Critical biomass harvest
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-114505
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-114505
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1016/j.ecolind.2021.108310
Web of Science (WoS)000714763200005
ID Code:26255
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Soil and Environment
(S) > Dept. of Soil and Environment
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:02 Dec 2021 11:25
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2021 11:31

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