Knut Bjørkelo

Chief Engineer

(+47) 974 72 653

Ås R9

Visiting address
Raveien 9, 1430 Ås


Cultivated organic soils account for ∼7% of Norway’s agricultural land area, and they are estimated to be a significant source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The project ‘Climate smart management practices on Norwegian organic soils’ (MYR), commissioned by the Research Council of Norway (decision no. 281109), aims to evaluate GHG (e.g. carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide) emissions and impacts on biomass productivity from three land use types (cultivated, abandoned and restored) on organic soils. At the cultivated sites, impacts of drainage depth and management intensity will be measured. We established experimental sites in Norway covering a broad range of climate and management regimes, which will produce observational data in high spatiotemporal resolution during 2019-2021. Using state-of-the-art modelling techniques, MYR aims to predict the potential GHG mitigation under different scenarios. Four models (BASGRA, DNDC, Coup and ECOSSE) will be further developed according to the soil properties, and then used independently in simulating biogeochemical processes and biomass dynamics in the different land uses. Robust parameterization schemes for each model will be based in the observational data from the project for both soil and crop combinations. Eventually, a multi-model ensemble prediction will be carried out to provide scenario analyses by 2030 and 2050. By integrating experimental results and modelling, the project aims at generating useful information for recommendations on environment-friendly use of Norwegian peatlands.


Cultivated organic soils (7-8% of Norway’s agricultural land area) are economically important sources for forage production in some regions in Norway, but they are also ‘hot spots’ for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The project ‘Climate smart management practices on Norwegian organic soils’ (MYR; funded by the Research Council of Norway, decision no. 281109) will evaluate how water table management and the intensity of other management practices (i.e. tillage and fertilization intensity) affects both GHG emissions and forage’s quality & production. The overall aim of MYR is to generate useful information for recommendations on climate-friendly management of Norwegian peatlands for both policy makers and farmers. For this project, we established two experimental sites on Norwegian peatlands for grass cultivation, of which one in Northern (subarctic, continental climate) and another in Southern (temperate, coastal climate) Norway. Both sites have a water table level (WTL) gradient ranging from low to high. In order to explore the effects of management practices, controlled trials with different fertilization strategies and tillage intensity will be conducted at these sites with WTL gradients considered. Meanwhile, GHG emissions (including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide), crop-related observations (e.g. phenology, production), and hydrological conditions (e.g. soil moisture, WTL dynamics) will be monitored with high spatiotemporal resolution along the WTL gradients during 2019-2021. Besides, MYR aims at predicting potential GHG mitigation under different scenarios by using state-of-the-art modelling techniques. Four models (BASGRA, Coup, DNDC and ECOSSE), with strengths in predicting grass growth, hydrological processes, soil nitrification-denitrification and carbon decomposition, respectively, will be further developed according to the soil properties. Then these models will be used independently to simulate biogeochemical and agroecological processes in our experimental fields. Robust parameterization schemes will be based on the observational data for both soil and crop combinations. Eventually, a multi-model ensemble prediction will be carried out to provide scenario analyses by 2030 and 2050. We will couple these process-based models with optimization algorithm to explore the potential reduction in GHG emissions with consideration of production sustenance, and upscale our assessment to regional level.

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Forestry in coastal Norway has traditionally been a marginal activity with a low annual harvest rate. However, the region is now faced with large areas of spruce plantations that will reach harvest maturity within the next 25 years. Due to the poor infrastructure in the region, the current challenge is to harvest the maturing spruce plantations at an acceptable cost. Hence, there is considerable interest both from the forest sector and politicians to invest in infrastructure that can provide the basis for profitable forest sector development in coastal Norway. This paper presents a mathematical optimization model for timber transportation from stump to industry. The main decision variables are location of quays, upgrade of public road links, the length of new forest roads, and when the investments should happen. The main objective is to provide decision support for prioritization of infrastructure investments. The optimization model is combined with a dynamical forest resource model, providing details on available volumes and costs. A case study for coastal Norway is presented and solved to optimality. The instance includes 10 counties comprising more than 200 municipalities with forest resources, 53 possible new quays for timber export and 916 public road links that also can be upgraded. Compared with a no investment case, the optimal solution improved the objective by 23%. The study shows that consistent, informative and good analyses can be performed to evaluate trade-offs, prioritization, time and order of investment, and cost saving potentials of infrastructure investments in the forest industry. The solution seems reasonable based on present infrastructure and state of the forest.


Et overordnet samfunnsmål er å sikre en bærekraftig bruk og forvaltning av Norges arealressurser. Det krever en kontinuerlig leveranse av pålitelig og oppdatert informasjon til beslutningstakere. For å være i stand til å levere denne informasjonen, produserer Norsk institutt for skog og landskap blant annet arealressursstatistikk for alle kommuner i Norge. Statistikken produseres også på fylkesnivå og for hele landet. Arealtallene hentes ut fra en kombinasjon av ulike nasjonale datasett i ulike målestokker sammen med tolkning av satellittbilder. Gjennom en omklassifisering beregnes statistikk for visse landressursklasser som dyrka jord, beite, skog basert på produktivitet, ferskvann, snø og isbre, snaumark og bebygd område. Skog og landskap har de siste par årene brukt åpen kildekode. Hele produksjonslinje utføres ved hjelp av slik programvare. Resultatene lagres i XML-filer som legges ut på internett. Produksjonen krever behandling av flere databaser med nasjonal dekning og må håndtere geometriske operasjoner effektivt og uten feil. Den åpne kildekodeløsningen er pålitelig, stabil og rask.