Carbon accumulation in European forests

P. Ciais, M.J. Schelhaas, S. Zaehle, S.L. Piao, A. Cescatti, J. Liski, S. Luyssaert, G. Le-Maire, E.D. Schulze, O. Bouriaud, A. Freibauer, R. Valentini, G.J. Nabuurs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

210 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

European forests are intensively exploited for wood products, yet they also form a sink for carbon. European forest inventories, available for the past 50 years, can be combined with timber harvest statistics to assess changes in this carbon sink. Analysis of these data sets between 1950 and 2000 from the EU-15 countries excluding Luxembourg, plus Norway and Switzerland, reveals that there is a tight relationship between increases in forest biomass and forest ecosystem productivity but timber harvests grew more slowly. Encouragingly, the environmental conditions in combination with the type of silviculture that has been developed over the past 50 years can efficiently sequester carbon on timescales of decades, while maintaining forests that meet the demand for wood. However, a return to using wood as biofuel and hence shorter rotations in forestry could cancel out the benefits of carbon storage over the past five decades
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-429
Number of pages5
JournalNature Geoscience
Volume1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • boreal forests
  • pinus-cembra
  • land-use
  • temperate
  • dynamics
  • ecosystems
  • database
  • climate
  • turnover
  • biomass

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Carbon accumulation in European forests'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this