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Environmental Impacts of Boom-Corridor and Selectively Thinned Small-Diameter-Tree Forests

de la Fuente, Teresa and Bergström, Dan and Fernandez-Lacruz, Raul and Hujala, Teppo and Krajnc, Nike and Laina, Ruben and Nordfjell, Tomas and Triplat, Matevz and Tolosana, Eduardo (2022). Environmental Impacts of Boom-Corridor and Selectively Thinned Small-Diameter-Tree Forests. Sustainability. 14 :10 , 6075
[Research article]

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Abstract

European forest stands of small-diameter trees can provide industries with biomass as an alternative to fossil use. Small-tree harvesting is costly using conventional methods but using accumulating felling heads (AFH) in combination with a novel boom-corridor thinning (BCT) technique can increase harvester productivity and supply cost efficiency. This method has great potential to reduce costs, but its environmental impact compared with selective thinning (ST) needs to be determined. The objectives of this study were therefore to quantify and compare tree and soil damage as well as air, water and soil emissions for both BCT and ST in various European small-diameter-tree forests. Trials were performed in 84 study units (42 replications per thinning technique) across four countries. Damaged trees (with a diameter at breast height >= 7 cm) were measured after thinning and after forwarding. Harvesting emissions were calculated from a life cycle assessment. The percentage of remaining trees that had been damaged by the harvesting processes was 13% and 19% for BCT and ST, respectively, and the difference was significant. BCT exhibited the lowest emissions in all environmental impact categories considered, in all countries. Greenhouse gas emissions were on average 17% lower for BCT. BCT in small-diameter-tree stands therefore reduces the environmental impact of thinning operations compared with conventional methods, and results in less damage to the remaining trees.

Authors/Creators:de la Fuente, Teresa and Bergström, Dan and Fernandez-Lacruz, Raul and Hujala, Teppo and Krajnc, Nike and Laina, Ruben and Nordfjell, Tomas and Triplat, Matevz and Tolosana, Eduardo
Title:Environmental Impacts of Boom-Corridor and Selectively Thinned Small-Diameter-Tree Forests
Series Name/Journal:Sustainability
Year of publishing :2022
Volume:14
Number:10
Article number:6075
Number of Pages:16
Publisher:MDPI
ISSN:2071-1050
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 > Forest Science
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Environmental Sciences (social aspects to be 507)
Keywords:first thinning, harvesting damages, GHG emissions, forest biomass, forest operations
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-117422
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-117422
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.3390/su14106075
Web of Science (WoS)000801738200001
ID Code:28366
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Department of Forest Biomaterials and Technology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:16 Jun 2022 13:25
Metadata Last Modified:16 Jun 2022 13:31

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