Forest Resource Assessment and Bioenergy

Forest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Forest Resource Assessment and Bioenergy group focuses its research on four closely related topics:

  1. systems to monitor and estimate forests resources and wood production potentials,
  2. optimization of yield and ecosystem services in wood biomass production systems,
  3. forests’ ability to mitigate climate change through carbon sequestration and production and utilization of biomass for energy and wood products, and
  4. systems to govern and document sustainability of forests, bioenergy and bioproducts.

Inventory, monitoring, and resource potentials

We provide up-to-date information on forest resources and their development based on experiments and inventory data. Inventories cover living trees, deadwood and soil carbon pools, forest products, biodiversity, pest and diseases, and ecosystem services. We integrate information from multiple geographical and temporal scales, from experiments, to long-term field trials and extensive, national level monitoring programs. We seek to identify linkages between short-term and long-term experimental data, and monitoring data to provide more accurate resource assessments and prognosis tools, as a basis for consolidating sampling methods for assessment of forest resources and development of growth models.

Bioenergy feedstock production, environmental services, and impacts

We examine biomass production from forests, including whole-tree and residue harvesting as well as short rotation willow and poplar (SRC). We investigate impacts of fertilization on biomass yield and other ecosystem services, including seepage water quality and quantity, and biodiversity. Seepage water quality is monitored with respect to leaching of nitrogen, phosphorous, other nutrients and heavy metals. We also investigate the impacts of using combustion ash and sludge as fertilizer, with specific attention to effects of nutrients and heavy metals on environmental quality and biodiversity.

Climate change mitigation effect of bioenergy and forest production

We investigate the climate change mitigation effects of carbon sequestration by storage in living biomass and soil, and the effect of biomass substituting fossil fuels and fossil fuel intensive materials. The research approach includes comparison between alternative land-uses, supply chains, and reference energy and material systems. We collaborate internationally on these issues, for example through IEA Bioenergy.

Sustainability governance and documentation

Building on our knowledge about ecosystems and entire forest biomass production systems and supply chains, we also explore how monitoring data and scientific knowledge may inform development of well-functioning, credible and legitimate sustainability governance systems for forests, bioenergy and the bioeconomy, including their use for verification of compliance with sustainability standards or regulatory requirements. We also analyze feasibility of verifying sustainability criteria in specific cases around the world. The work is conducted in collaboration with international colleagues, mainly within IEA Bioenergy Task 43 on ‘Biomass Feedstocks for Energy Markets’ and IEA Bioenergy inter-Task projects, and within the Centre of Advanced Research on Environmental Services from Nordic Forest Ecosystems (CAR-ES).