Clara Antón Fernández

Research Scientist

(+47) 974 30 351
clara.anton.fernandez@nibio.no

Place
Ås H8

Visiting address
Høgskoleveien 8, 1433 Ås

Abstract

The present study aims to develop biologically sound and parsimonious site index models for Norway to predict changes in site index (SI) under different climatic conditions. The models are constructed using data from the Norwegian National Forest Inventory and climate data from the Norwegian meteorological institute. Site index was modeled using the potential modifier functional form, with a potential component (POT) depending on site quality classes and two modifier components (MOD): temperature and moisture. Each of these modifiers was based on a portfolio of candidate variables. The best model for spruce-dominated stands included temperature as modifier (R2 = 0.56). In the case of pine- and deciduous-dominated stands, the best models included both modifiers (R2 = 0.40 and 0.54 for temperature and moisture, respectively). We illustrate the use of the models by analyzing the possible shift in SI for year 2100 under one (RCP4.5) of the benchmark scenarios adopted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for its fifth assessment report. The models presented can be valuable for evaluating the effect of climate change scenarios in Norwegian forests.

Abstract

Boreal forests contain 30% of the global forest carbon with the majority residing in soils. While challenging to quantify, soil carbon changes comprise a significant, and potentially increasing, part of the terrestrial carbon cycle. Thus, their estimation is important when designing forest-based climate change mitigation strategies and soil carbon change estimates are required for the reporting of greenhouse gas emissions. Organic matter decomposition varies with climate in complex nonlinear ways, rendering data aggregation nontrivial. Here, we explored the effects of temporal and spatial aggregation of climatic and litter input data on regional estimates of soil organic carbon stocks and changes for upland forests. We used the soil carbon and decomposition model Yasso07 with input from the Norwegian National Forest Inventory (11275 plots, 1960–2012). Estimates were produced at three spatial and three temporal scales. Results showed that a national level average soil carbon stock estimate varied by 10% depending on the applied spatial and temporal scale of aggregation. Higher stocks were found when applying plot-level input compared to country-level input and when long-term climate was used as compared to annual or 5-year mean values. A national level estimate for soil carbon change was similar across spatial scales, but was considerably (60–70%) lower when applying annual or 5-year mean climate compared to long-term mean climate reflecting the recent climatic changes in Norway. This was particularly evident for the forest-dominated districts in the southeastern and central parts of Norway and in the far north. We concluded that the sensitivity of model estimates to spatial aggregation will depend on the region of interest. Further, that using long-term climate averages during periods with strong climatic trends results in large differences in soil carbon estimates. The largest differences in this study were observed in central and northern regions with strongly increasing temperatures.

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Abstract

Key Message. This analysis of the tools and methods currently in use for reporting woody biomass availability in 21 European countries has shown that most countries use, or are developing, National Forest Inventory-oriented models whereas the others use standwise forest inventory--oriented methods. Context. Knowledge of realistic and sustainable wood availability in Europe is highly relevant to define climate change mitigation strategies at national and European level, to support the development of realistic targets for increased use of renewable energy sources and of industry wood. Future scenarios at European level highlight a deficit of domestic wood supply compared to wood consumption, and some European countries state they are harvesting above the increment. Aims. Several country-level studies on wood availability have been performed for international reporting. However, it remains essential to improve the knowledge on the projection methods used across Europe to better evaluate forecasts. Methods. Analysis was based on descriptions supplied by the national correspondentsinvolved in USEWOOD COST Action (FP1001), and further enriched with additionaldata from international reports that allowedcharacterisation of the forests in these countries for the same base year. Results. Methods currently used for projecting wood availability were described for 21 European countries. Projection systems based on National Forest Inventory (NFI) data prevail over methods based on forest management plans. Only a few countries lack nationwide projection tools, still using tools developed for specific areas. Conclusions. A wide range of NFI-based systems for projecting wood availability exists, being under permanent improvement. The validation of projection forecasts and the inclusion of climate sensitive growth models into these tools are common aims for most countries. Cooperation among countries would result in higher efficiency when developing and improving projection tools and better comparability among them.

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Abstract

National Forest Inventories (NFIs) provide estimates of forest parameters for national and regional scales. Many key variables of interest, such as biomass and timber volume, cannot be measured directly in the field. Instead, models are used to predict those variables from measurements of other field variables. Therefore, the uncertainty or variability of NFI estimates results not only from selecting a sample of the population but also from uncertainties in the models used to predict the variables of interest. The aim of this study was to quantify the model-related variability of Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst) biomass stock and change estimates for the Norwegian NFI. The model-related variability of the estimates stems from uncertainty in parameter estimates of biomass models as well as residual variability and was quantified using a Monte Carlo simulation technique. Uncertainties in model parameter estimates, which are often not available for published biomass models, had considerable influence on the model-related variability of biomass stock and change estimates. The assumption that the residual variability is larger than documented for the models and the correlation of within-plot model residuals influenced the model-related variability of biomass stock change estimates much more than estimates of the biomass stock. The larger influence on the stock change resulted from the large influence of harvests on the stock change, although harvests were observed rarely on the NFI sample plots in the 5-year period that was considered. In addition, the temporal correlation between model residuals due to changes in the allometry had considerable influence on the model-related variability of the biomass stock change estimate. The allometry may, however, be assumed to be rather stable over a 5-year period. Because the effects of model-related variability of the biomass stock and change estimates were much smaller than those of the sampling-related variability, efforts to increase the precision of estimates should focus on reducing the sampling variability. If the model-related variability is to be decreased, the focus should be on the tree fractions of living branches as well as stump and roots.

Abstract

Harvest activity directly impacts timber supply, forest conditions, and carbon stock. Forecasts of the harvest activity have traditionally relied on the assumption that harvest is carried out according to forest management guidelines or to maximize forest value. However, these rules are, in practice, seldom applied systematically, which may result in large discrepancies between predicted and actual harvest in short-term forecasts. We present empirical harvest models that predict final felling and thinning based on forest attributes such as site index, stand age, volume, slope, and distance to road. The logistic regression models were developed and fit to Norwegian national forest inventory data and predict harvest with high discriminating power. The models were consistent with expected landowners behavior, that is, areas with high timber value and low harvest cost were more likely to be harvested. We illustrate how the harvest models can be used, in combination with a growth model, to develop a national business-as-usual scenario for forest carbon. The business-as-usual scenario shows a slight increase in national harvest levels and a decrease in carbon sequestration in living trees over the next decade.