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Forests 2017, 8(7), 258; doi:10.3390/f8070258

Soil Erosion and Forests Biomass as Energy Resource in the Basin of the Oka River in Biscay, Northern Spain

1
Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, Rafael Moreno ‘Pitxitxi’, n 3, 48013 Bilbao, Spain
2
Department of Mining, Escuela Técnica de Ingenieros de Minas, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, E-01006 Vitoria, Spain
3
Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, Barrio Sarriena s/n, 48940 Leioa, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Raffaele Spinelli
Received: 10 April 2017 / Revised: 29 June 2017 / Accepted: 12 July 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Operations, Engineering and Management)
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Abstract

The aim of this work has been the development of a methodology for the evaluation of residual forest biomass in Biscay, a province in northern Spain. The study area is located in the Oka river basin, an area of great ecological value qualified by UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) in 1984 as a Biosphere Reserve. The project tries to determine the potential, available and usable as energy resource, residual forests biomass, after the treatments of forest species in the area. Soil erosion was modeled using the USLE (Universal Soil Loss Equation) and MUSLE (Modified USLE) methods by estimating rainfall erosivity factor (R), the soil erodibility factor (K), the topographic factors (L and S), cropping factor (C), and the conservation practice factor (P). By means of these models, it will be possible to determine the current soil erosion rate and its potential evolution due to different forest treatments. Soil erodibility, slope of the terrain and the loss of SOC (Soil Organic Carbon) were the restrictive indicators for the bioenergy use of forest biomass, taking into account principles of sustainability. The amount of residual forestry biomass useable for energy purposes has been estimated at 4858.23 Mg year−1. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil erosion; GIS (Geographic Information System); forest residues; energy valuation; harvesting management soil erosion; GIS (Geographic Information System); forest residues; energy valuation; harvesting management
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Mateos, E.; Edeso, J.M.; Ormaetxea, L. Soil Erosion and Forests Biomass as Energy Resource in the Basin of the Oka River in Biscay, Northern Spain. Forests 2017, 8, 258.

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