Wood production is a pivotal provisioning ecosystem service of major economic importance, yet its intensive utilization is a key reason for species declines in the EU and globally. A transition from a fossil- to a bio-based economy requires increased mobilization of raw materials from forests. It is therefore essential to find ways to fulfil the increasing wood demand while conserving biodiversity.
Wood and various other ecosystem services, as well as biodiversity are produced locally in forest landscapes. However, the demand for wood products is increasingly determined by a global market, i.e. outside the landscape in question. It is at the local level where the trade-off between increased timber harvests and biodiversity conservation, as well as other land-use conflicts, needs to be resolved. This requires a multilevel perspective - local-level scenarios of forest management and conservation need to consider external drivers such as the global wood demand1.
Here, our aim was to investigate how global drivers can be accounted for in landscape-level assessments. Global wood demand was projected by the MESSAGE-GLOBIOM modeling framework2 for different combinations of shared socio-economic pathways and climate scenarios. Next, the resulting national level projections of demanded wood volumes and prices for the case of Sweden were downscaled to the landscape level with a partial equilibrium model (PEM). To find market equilibria, the PEM combines the national demand for sawn timber, pulpwood and forest fuel with potential forest supply. Potential supply and associated silvicultural, harvesting and transporting costs were computed with the Heureka forest simulator3 for a 100-year time period based on some 10,000 National Forest Inventory (NFI) plots covering Sweden. The NFI plots are linked with expansion factors to make them representative of the total productive forest area. Thus, the supply from the NFI plots in the landscape in question defines the landscape-level wood demand.
In a next step, the resulting landscape-level wood demand will be used in the formulation and simulation of forestry and conservation scenarios for a forest landscape in northern Sweden. We will link scenario projections in terms of forest variables, and their change over time, to (meta)population dynamics of focal species, and investigate local impacts of changes in global wood demand on various ecosystem services and biodiversity.
The work is part of the BiodivERsA project GreenFutureForest.
1. Nordström, E.-M. et al. Impacts of global climate change mitigation scenarios on forests and harvesting in Sweden. Can. J. For. Res. 46, 1427-1438 (2016).
2. Krey, V. et al. MESSAGE-GLOBIOM 1.0 Documentation. (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), 2016).
3. Wikström, P., et al., 2011. The Heureka forestry decision support system: an overview. Mathematical and Computational Forestry & Natural Resource Sciences, 3(2), p.87-95.