Global warming potentials of stemwood used for energy and materials in Southern Finland: differentiation of impacts based on type of harvest and product lifetime

Tuomas Helin (Corresponding Author), Hannu Salminen, Jari Hynynen, Sampo Soimakallio, Saija Huuskonen, Kim Pingoud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Wood harvesting in boreal forests typically consists of sequential harvesting operations within a rotation: a few thinnings and a final felling. The aim of this paper is to model differentiated relative global warming potential (GWP) coefficients for stemwood use from different thinnings and final fellings, and correction factors for long-lived wood products, potentially applicable in life cycle assessment studies. All thinnings and final fellings influence the development of forest carbon stocks. The climate impact of a single harvesting operation is generated in comparison with no harvesting, thus encountering a methodological problem on how to handle the subsequent operations. The dynamic forest stand simulator MOTTI was applied in the modelling of evolution of forest carbon stocks at landscape level in Southern Finland. The landscape-level approach for climate impact assessment gave results similar to some stand-level approaches presented in previous literature that included the same forest C pools and also studied the impacts relative to the no-harvest situation. The climate impacts of stemwood use decreased over time. For energy use, the impacts were higher or similar in the short term and 0-50% lower in the midterm in comparison with an identical amount of fossil CO2. The impacts were to some extent (approximately 20-40%) lower for wood from intermediate thinnings than for wood from final fellings or first thinnings. However, the study reveals that product lifetime has higher relative influence on the climate impacts of wood-based value chains than whether the stemwood originates from thinnings or final fellings. Although the evolution of future C stocks in unmanaged boreal forests is uncertain, a sensitivity analysis suggests that landscape-level model results for climate impacts would not be sensitive to the assumptions made on the future evolution of C stocks in unmanaged forest. Energy use of boreal stemwood seems to be far from climate neutral.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-345
JournalGlobal Change Biology: Bioenergy
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fingerprint

stemwood
Global warming
thinning (plants)
felling
global warming
climate effect
Finland
thinning
Wood
climate
energy
energy use
boreal forests
carbon sinks
Wood products
boreal forest
Carbon
Sensitivity analysis
Life cycle
life cycle assessment

Keywords

  • boreal forest
  • climate impacts
  • forest bioenergy
  • forest growth model
  • global warming potential
  • landscape
  • long-lived wood products
  • stemwood
  • thinning wood

Cite this

Helin, Tuomas ; Salminen, Hannu ; Hynynen, Jari ; Soimakallio, Sampo ; Huuskonen, Saija ; Pingoud, Kim. / Global warming potentials of stemwood used for energy and materials in Southern Finland: differentiation of impacts based on type of harvest and product lifetime. In: Global Change Biology: Bioenergy. 2016 ; Vol. 8, No. 2. pp. 334-345.
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title = "Global warming potentials of stemwood used for energy and materials in Southern Finland: differentiation of impacts based on type of harvest and product lifetime",
abstract = "Wood harvesting in boreal forests typically consists of sequential harvesting operations within a rotation: a few thinnings and a final felling. The aim of this paper is to model differentiated relative global warming potential (GWP) coefficients for stemwood use from different thinnings and final fellings, and correction factors for long-lived wood products, potentially applicable in life cycle assessment studies. All thinnings and final fellings influence the development of forest carbon stocks. The climate impact of a single harvesting operation is generated in comparison with no harvesting, thus encountering a methodological problem on how to handle the subsequent operations. The dynamic forest stand simulator MOTTI was applied in the modelling of evolution of forest carbon stocks at landscape level in Southern Finland. The landscape-level approach for climate impact assessment gave results similar to some stand-level approaches presented in previous literature that included the same forest C pools and also studied the impacts relative to the no-harvest situation. The climate impacts of stemwood use decreased over time. For energy use, the impacts were higher or similar in the short term and 0-50{\%} lower in the midterm in comparison with an identical amount of fossil CO2. The impacts were to some extent (approximately 20-40{\%}) lower for wood from intermediate thinnings than for wood from final fellings or first thinnings. However, the study reveals that product lifetime has higher relative influence on the climate impacts of wood-based value chains than whether the stemwood originates from thinnings or final fellings. Although the evolution of future C stocks in unmanaged boreal forests is uncertain, a sensitivity analysis suggests that landscape-level model results for climate impacts would not be sensitive to the assumptions made on the future evolution of C stocks in unmanaged forest. Energy use of boreal stemwood seems to be far from climate neutral.",
keywords = "boreal forest, climate impacts, forest bioenergy, forest growth model, global warming potential, landscape, long-lived wood products, stemwood, thinning wood",
author = "Tuomas Helin and Hannu Salminen and Jari Hynynen and Sampo Soimakallio and Saija Huuskonen and Kim Pingoud",
year = "2016",
doi = "10.1111/gcbb.12244",
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Global warming potentials of stemwood used for energy and materials in Southern Finland: differentiation of impacts based on type of harvest and product lifetime. / Helin, Tuomas (Corresponding Author); Salminen, Hannu; Hynynen, Jari; Soimakallio, Sampo; Huuskonen, Saija; Pingoud, Kim.

In: Global Change Biology: Bioenergy, Vol. 8, No. 2, 2016, p. 334-345.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Global warming potentials of stemwood used for energy and materials in Southern Finland: differentiation of impacts based on type of harvest and product lifetime

AU - Helin, Tuomas

AU - Salminen, Hannu

AU - Hynynen, Jari

AU - Soimakallio, Sampo

AU - Huuskonen, Saija

AU - Pingoud, Kim

PY - 2016

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N2 - Wood harvesting in boreal forests typically consists of sequential harvesting operations within a rotation: a few thinnings and a final felling. The aim of this paper is to model differentiated relative global warming potential (GWP) coefficients for stemwood use from different thinnings and final fellings, and correction factors for long-lived wood products, potentially applicable in life cycle assessment studies. All thinnings and final fellings influence the development of forest carbon stocks. The climate impact of a single harvesting operation is generated in comparison with no harvesting, thus encountering a methodological problem on how to handle the subsequent operations. The dynamic forest stand simulator MOTTI was applied in the modelling of evolution of forest carbon stocks at landscape level in Southern Finland. The landscape-level approach for climate impact assessment gave results similar to some stand-level approaches presented in previous literature that included the same forest C pools and also studied the impacts relative to the no-harvest situation. The climate impacts of stemwood use decreased over time. For energy use, the impacts were higher or similar in the short term and 0-50% lower in the midterm in comparison with an identical amount of fossil CO2. The impacts were to some extent (approximately 20-40%) lower for wood from intermediate thinnings than for wood from final fellings or first thinnings. However, the study reveals that product lifetime has higher relative influence on the climate impacts of wood-based value chains than whether the stemwood originates from thinnings or final fellings. Although the evolution of future C stocks in unmanaged boreal forests is uncertain, a sensitivity analysis suggests that landscape-level model results for climate impacts would not be sensitive to the assumptions made on the future evolution of C stocks in unmanaged forest. Energy use of boreal stemwood seems to be far from climate neutral.

AB - Wood harvesting in boreal forests typically consists of sequential harvesting operations within a rotation: a few thinnings and a final felling. The aim of this paper is to model differentiated relative global warming potential (GWP) coefficients for stemwood use from different thinnings and final fellings, and correction factors for long-lived wood products, potentially applicable in life cycle assessment studies. All thinnings and final fellings influence the development of forest carbon stocks. The climate impact of a single harvesting operation is generated in comparison with no harvesting, thus encountering a methodological problem on how to handle the subsequent operations. The dynamic forest stand simulator MOTTI was applied in the modelling of evolution of forest carbon stocks at landscape level in Southern Finland. The landscape-level approach for climate impact assessment gave results similar to some stand-level approaches presented in previous literature that included the same forest C pools and also studied the impacts relative to the no-harvest situation. The climate impacts of stemwood use decreased over time. For energy use, the impacts were higher or similar in the short term and 0-50% lower in the midterm in comparison with an identical amount of fossil CO2. The impacts were to some extent (approximately 20-40%) lower for wood from intermediate thinnings than for wood from final fellings or first thinnings. However, the study reveals that product lifetime has higher relative influence on the climate impacts of wood-based value chains than whether the stemwood originates from thinnings or final fellings. Although the evolution of future C stocks in unmanaged boreal forests is uncertain, a sensitivity analysis suggests that landscape-level model results for climate impacts would not be sensitive to the assumptions made on the future evolution of C stocks in unmanaged forest. Energy use of boreal stemwood seems to be far from climate neutral.

KW - boreal forest

KW - climate impacts

KW - forest bioenergy

KW - forest growth model

KW - global warming potential

KW - landscape

KW - long-lived wood products

KW - stemwood

KW - thinning wood

U2 - 10.1111/gcbb.12244

DO - 10.1111/gcbb.12244

M3 - Article

VL - 8

SP - 334

EP - 345

JO - Global Change Biology: Bioenergy

JF - Global Change Biology: Bioenergy

SN - 1757-1693

IS - 2

ER -