Other project members
Anna Jensen, Johan Bergh, Linnéuniversitetet; Monika Strömgren, Skogsforsk
Formas (New forest management practices for multiple societal goals)
1 jan 2023 - 31 dec 2026
Forestry industry production systems (Department of Forestry and Wood Technology, Faculty of Technology)
Linnaeus Knowledge Environment
Green Sustainable Development
More about the project
Managed forest absorbs large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, while at the same time providing renewable materials that can substitute fossil matters. But after harvest the clear-cuts emit carbon dioxide to the atmosphere for many years, before the net uptake of carbon dioxide recommences. There is an ongoing discussion within the forestry sector and the research community to what extent continuous cover forestry (CCF) can be a beneficial alternative to clear-cutting forestry (CF) by avoiding clear-cut phases with consequent emissions of carbon dioxide.
If satisfactory growth and yield can be achieved by continuous-cover forestry (CCF), this might lead to increased long-term carbon sequestration, not least in forest soils.
Keep track of the carbon dioxide
In this project we will measure carbon dioxide fluxes between a continuous-cover (CCF) forest and the atmosphere by installing an advanced system of sensors above the canopy on a 36-meter-tall mast that was raised in the forest. The sensors “follow the forest’s breath” by continuously measuring movements of the air and its content of carbon dioxide, 10 times per second, all year round. This way we can quantify the amounts of carbon dioxide that move into and out of the forest. By simultaneous observations of local weather and soil conditions we will be able to describe processes that control fluxes of carbon dioxide. The carbon balance will then be compared with the average carbon uptake during a rotation period of forests that are managed by recurrent clear cutting (clear-cutting forestry, CF).
To meet global climate goals, we must reduce emissions and increase uptake of carbon dioxide. Here the forestry sector has a huge potential to contribute if new forms of forest management practices can increase carbon sequestration.
Today, little is known about the climate benefit of continuous cover forests, because no measurements of carbon dioxide fluxes could be done in available stands that often are too small for this type of experiments. But now we have found a suitable forest, and our data will improve the data foundation for the ongoing discussion. There are even indications that biodiversity will benefit from continuous cover forestry with multi-layer stands. This in turn affects the forest’s resilience against storms, fires, and pests, and thereby the long-term carbon sequestration.