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Forests 2014, 5(4), 557-578; doi:10.3390/f5040557

Potential Roles of Swedish Forestry in the Context of Climate Change Mitigation

1,* , 2
Received: 6 November 2013 / Revised: 28 January 2014 / Accepted: 14 February 2014 / Published: 26 March 2014
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In Sweden, where forests cover more than 60% of the land area, silviculture and the use of forest products by industry and society play crucial roles in the national carbon balance. A scientific challenge is to understand how different forest management and wood use strategies can best contribute to climate change mitigation benefits. This study uses a set of models to analyze the effects of different forest management and wood use strategies in Sweden on carbon dioxide emissions and removals through 2105. If the present Swedish forest use strategy is continued, the long-term climate change mitigation benefit will correspond to more than 60 million tons of avoided or reduced emissions of carbon dioxide annually, compared to a scenario with similar consumption patterns in society but where non-renewable products are used instead of forest-based products. On average about 470 kg of carbon dioxide emissions are avoided for each cubic meter of biomass harvested, after accounting for carbon stock changes, substitution effects and all emissions related to forest management and industrial processes. Due to Sweden’s large export share of forest-based products, the climate change mitigation effect of Swedish forestry is larger abroad than within the country. The study also shows that silvicultural methods to increase forest biomass production can further reduce net carbon dioxide emissions by an additional 40 million tons of per year. Forestry’s contribution to climate change mitigation could be significantly increased if management of the boreal forest were oriented towards increased biomass production and if more wood were used to substitute fossil fuels and energy-intensive materials.
Keywords: forest growth; harvest; substitution; carbon dioxide; abroad; in-country forest growth; harvest; substitution; carbon dioxide; abroad; in-country
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Lundmark, T.; Bergh, J.; Hofer, P.; Lundström, A.; Nordin, A.; Poudel, B.C.; Sathre, R.; Taverna, R.; Werner, F. Potential Roles of Swedish Forestry in the Context of Climate Change Mitigation. Forests 2014, 5, 557-578.

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