Assessing impacts of intensified biomass production and biodiversity protection on ecosystem services provided by European forests

P.J. Verkerk, R. Mavsar, M. Giergiczny, M. Lindner, D. Edwards, M.J. Schelhaas

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69 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To develop viable strategies for intensifying the use of forest biomass and for increasing forest protection, impacts on ecosystem services need to be assessed. We investigated the biophysical and economic impacts of increased forest biomass production and biodiversity protection on forest ecosystem services. The European Forest Information SCENario (EFISCEN) model was applied for 26 European countries. Three different scenarios were considered: a reference scenario (no policy changes, a moderate increase in roundwood, residue and stump biomass production), a wood energy scenario (enhanced roundwood, residue and stump biomass production to achieve national renewable energy targets), and a biodiversity scenario (setting aside 5% of the forest area with restrictions on wood production combined with biodiversity-friendly management on the remaining area). The impacts were assessed by analyzing impacts on provisioning (roundwood production and residue and stump biomass production) and other services (carbon storage, deadwood and recreation) for the period 2010–2030. We found that roundwood, residue and stump biomass production could be intensified, but there are trade-offs with non-marketed ecosystem services. Increasing biomass production could lead to a net societal benefit in 2030. However, larger benefits would be obtained within Europe if forest biodiversity protection is enhanced.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-165
JournalEcosystem Services
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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