Analysis of the impacts of forest management and climate change on the European forest sector carbon budget between 1990 and 2050 are presented in this article. Forest inventory based carbon budgeting with large scale scenario modelling was used. Altogether 27 countries and 128.5 million hectare of forests are included in the analysis. Two forest management and climate scenarios were applied. In Business as Usual (BaU) scenario national fellings remained at the 1990 level while in Multifunctional (MultiF) scenario fellings increased 0.5¿1% per year until 2020, 4 million hectare afforestation program took place between 1990 and 2020 and forest management paid more attention to current trends towards more nature oriented management. Mean annual temperature increased 2.5 °C and annual precipitation 5¿15% between 1990 and 2050 in changing climate scenario. Total amount of carbon in 1990 was 12 869 Tg, of which 94% in tree biomass and forest soil, and 6% in wood products in use. In 1995¿2000, when BaU scenario was applied under current climatic conditions, net primary production was 409 Tg C year¿1, net ecosystem production 164 Tg C year¿1, net biome production 84.5 Tg C year¿1, and net sequestration of the whole system 87.4 Tg C year¿1 which was equal to 7¿8% of carbon emissions from fossil fuel combustion in 1990. Carbon stocks in tree biomass, soil and wood products increased in all applied management and climate scenarios, but slower after 2010¿2020 than that before. This was due to ageing of forests and higher carbon densities per unit of forest land. Differences in carbon sequestration were very small between applied management scenarios, implying that forest management should be changed more than in this study if aim is to influence carbon sequestration. Applied climate scenarios increased carbon stocks and net carbon sequestration compared to current climatic conditions.
- atmospheric co2