Scientific articles about forests and the climate

Angelstam2019: From forest protection to green infrastructure.

This very important report examines the protected forest in Sweden, with Örebro county as an example. Angelstam concludes that we have a long way to go to reach the Aichi targets, not just because the protected area is too small, but because the areas are too small and are not connected. The report is published by the County Administration Board of Örebro.

Jonsson2019: Managed forests with mixed species can yield more timber

Jonsson and colleagues investigate ecosystem services for managed forests with spruce-pine, spruce-birch, and pine-birch, with different proportions of the tree species. They find that some combinations of these yield a higher production especially of timber and of bilberries. Read more in Nature Plants.

Ellison2017: The importance of the forest for the water cycle

Ellison with colleagues argue that the forest is extremely important for the water cycle in our ecosystems. Human access to water depends on the forest, and the forest is also very important to cool down the temperature locally. Read more in Global Environmental Change.

Cintas2017: The role of the forest for bioenergy

Cintas with colleagues argue that the forest should be used to substitute for fossil fuels. They model two energy scenarios and four forestry scenarios, and use different models than those who argue that bioenergy from forests gives a carbon debt because it takes time for the trees to grow again. Read more in Forest Ecology and Management.

Boysen2017: It’s hard to stop climate change by storing carbon from managed biomass production

Boysen with colleagues estimate the possibilities of slowing climate change by producing biomass which is then used for long-lived products, or is burned for energy whereupon the carbon is captured and stored underground (this is called BECCS, bioenergy with carbon capture, and is heavily used in IPCC scenarios). They estimate that this would be hard to do at a large scale since it would interfere with food production and natural ecosystems. It would also require large-scale irrigation and better carbon capture technology. Read more in Earth’s Future.

Andersson & Westholm, 2018: How the research program Future Forests was controlled by the Swedish forest industry.

Andersson and Westholm are social scientists who have investigated the research program Future Forests 2009-2012. They find that the forest industry has had a large influence over the research program, from the initial application which was first rejected by an international panel of scientists but was later accepted, to which interests were included in the program and how the research was communicated. The risk is that the research program hides existing conflicts and avoids seeing future risks. Read more in Science, Technology and Human Values.

Piirainen2015: Clearcuts decrease the carbon stock in the soil

Piirainen and colleagues measure the carbon stock in the soil of a forest which is clearcut and harrowed, in comparison with a forest which is not logged. After ten years, they find that the carbon stock in the soil above the mineral soil has decreased with 50 %, while the mineral soil carbon stock is unchanged. Read more in European Journal of Soil Science.

Jonsson2016: Increased amount of dead wood in southern Sweden is caused by storms, not changed forestry methods

Johnsson and colleagues analyze the amount of dead wood, which is important for biodiversity, in Swedish forests. A forest policy goal is to increase the amount of dead wood, and it has indeed increased with 25 % since the mid-90’s, but this is mainly because of storms and not changed forestry methods. Also, it is only in southern Sweden that the volume has increased – in northen Sweden the volume is stable or decreasing. Read more in Forest Ecology and Management.

Liang2016: Mixed forests have higher productivity globally

Liang and colleagues have examined over 750 000 test plots in 44 countries and find that the more tree species that grow in the plots, the higher the timber production. Read more in Science.

Svensson2018: Landscape fragmentation threatens biodiversity goals

Svensson with colleagues analyzes the fragmentation of the forest landscape in part of inland Norrland during 50 years. They discuss how hard it will be to reach the UN Aichi goals and tie together these fragments so that species will be able to spread and survive. Read more in Conservation Biology.