Overview of methods and tools for evaluating future woody biomass availability in European countries

Susana Barreiro*, Mart Jan Schelhaas, Gerald Kändler, Clara Antón-Fernández, Antoine Colin, Jean Daniel Bontemps, Iciar Alberdi, Sonia Condés, Marius Dumitru, Angel Ferezliev, Christoph Fischer, Patrizia Gasparini, Thomas Gschwantner, Georg Kindermann, Bjarki Kjartansson, Pál Kovácsevics, Milos Kucera, Anders Lundström, Gheorghe Marin, Gintautas MozgerisThomas Nord-Larsen, Tuula Packalen, John Redmond, Sandro Sacchelli, Allan Sims, Arnór Snorrason, Nickola Stoyanov, Esther Thürig, Per Erik Wikberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Key message: This analysis of the tools and methods currently in use for reporting woody biomass availability in 21 European countries has shown that most countries use, or are developing, National Forest Inventory-oriented models whereas the others use standwise forest inventory--oriented methods. Context: Knowledge of realistic and sustainable wood availability in Europe is highly relevant to define climate change mitigation strategies at national and European level, to support the development of realistic targets for increased use of renewable energy sources and of industry wood. Future scenarios at European level highlight a deficit of domestic wood supply compared to wood consumption, and some European countries state they are harvesting above the increment. Aims: Several country-level studies on wood availability have been performed for international reporting. However, it remains essential to improve the knowledge on the projection methods used across Europe to better evaluate forecasts. Methods: Analysis was based on descriptions supplied by the national correspondentsinvolved in USEWOOD COST Action (FP1001), and further enriched with additionaldata from international reports that allowedcharacterisation of the forests in these countries for the same base year. Results: Methods currently used for projecting wood availability were described for 21 European countries. Projection systems based on National Forest Inventory (NFI) data prevail over methods based on forest management plans. Only a few countries lack nationwide projection tools, still using tools developed for specific areas. Conclusions: A wide range of NFI-based systems for projecting wood availability exists, being under permanent improvement. The validation of projection forecasts and the inclusion of climate sensitive growth models into these tools are common aims for most countries. Cooperation among countries would result in higher efficiency when developing and improving projection tools and better comparability among them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)823-837
JournalAnnals of Forest Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • European countries
  • Forest models
  • Forest simulators
  • Projection methods
  • Woody biomass availability


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