Forest and Climate Change: Optimizing forest management and conservation to account for multiple interactions with the climate

Land-use related changes contribute about one sixth of the global carbon (C) emissions. While the C balance of boreal forests is reasonably well understood, other climate effects of forest management, especially drainage of peatlands, aerosols, other greenhouse gases and albedo changes are potentially large and have large uncertainties.

Adapting forest management to mitigate climate change is a multidisciplinary problem where the value of production, climate interactions and the willingness to change forest practices under other socio-economic, cultural and ecological constraints need to be considered.  Here we combine expertise of ecology, atmospheric science and environmental policy and economics to assess the implications of climate change mitigation in forest management.

The research program will, for the first time, analyze jointly all potentially important climate change impacts of forestry. Tradeoffs between the different climate change impacts and interactions between climate change mitigation and other forest uses will be analyzed. The research results have high relevancy for policy makers as we will analyse the full effects of forest management on climate change, tradeoffs between climate change mitigation and other forest services, as well as the social acceptability of climate change mitigation in the forestry.

The study is a collaborative effort between University of Helsinki department of Forest Sciences, and division of Atmospheric Sciences of department of Physics and the faculty of Social Sciences, the Finnish Forest Research institute and the Finnish Meteorological Institute. The studies are coordinated with activities of the Academy of Finland Center of Excellence “Physics, Chemistry, Biology and meteorology of Atmospheric Properties and Climate Change”.

In order to achieve the aims, our work is divided into four Themes: 1) Forest management influence on surface fluxes and properties, 2) Influence of surface fluxes on atmospheric properties and regional radiative balance, 3) Economic analysis of climatic impact of forestry and 4) Social acceptability of forestry and climate change. Themes further divide into work packages:

WP WP Title WP leader(s)
WP 1.1 Carbon sequestration in forests and forest soils Annikki Mäkelä, UHEL, Dept. Forest Sciences; Risto Sievänen, METLA
WP 1.2 Drainage and silvicultural impacts on GHG dynamics in organic and mineral soil forests    Kari Minkkinen, UHEL, Dept. Forest Sciences
WP 1.3 Forest management influence on surface albedo and VOC emissions Frank Berninger, Jaana Back, UHEL, Dept. Forest Sciences
WP 1.4 Impact of forest management on aerosol formation and radiative forcing Michael Boy, UHEL, Dept. Physics, Atmospheric Sciences
WP 2.1 Influence of surface fluxes and albedo on radiative forcing Ari Laaksonen, Finnish Meteorological Institute
WP 2.2 Modeling regional climatic impacts Ari Laaksonen, Finnish Meteorological Institute
WP 3.1 Management of forest stands to account for climatic and economic goals Lauri Valsta, UHEL, Dept. Forest Sciences
WP 3.2 Regional level analyses for climatic and economic goals Maarit Kallio, Metla
WP 3.3 Climate policy scenarios and the climatic impacts of forestry Lauri Valsta, UHEL, Dept. Forest Sciences
WP 4.1 Stakeholder analysis Martin Welp, University of Sustainable Development, Eberswalde, Germany
WP 4.2 Participatory decision support system  Janne Hukkinen, UHEL, Dept. Social Research


        

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