Spatial distribution of whole-tree carbon stocks and fluxes across the forests of Europe: where are the options for bio-energy?

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Abstract

This paper presents carbon stocks and fluxes of the whole-tree biomass of European forests and other wooded land, distinguished by coniferous, deciduous and mixed forests. The results are presented at the European, national and (where possible) regional level. Results concerning carbon stocks, and fluxes of Net Ecosystem Production and Net Biome Production for whole-tree biomass (excluding wood products and soils) were derived from a detailed European forest resource database and converted to carbon using biomass conversion factors. Uncertainties and differences from other estimates are discussed.Based on these detailed national forest inventory data, the estimated carbon stock in whole-tree biomass for the European forest, excluding Russia and the Newly Independent States, amounts to 6.15PgC. The annual sink before harvest is estimated at 217TgC and the sink after harvest is estimated at 77TgC. The variations in stocks and fluxes throughout Europe are large, with the largest carbon stocks and the largest sinks in Atlantic and Central Europe (regions with abundant precipitation and a not too extreme temperature or drought regime). This paper indicates ways of both maintaining the carbon sink in the forest and at the same time producing wood for bio-energy. Main problem may not be the physical availability of wood, but the fact that bioenergy based on woody biomass requires a completely different way of thinking and acting of the energy producers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-320
JournalBiomass and Bioenergy
Volume24
Issue number4-5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Keywords

  • balance

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