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Research article2020Peer reviewedOpen access

Assessing forest availability for wood supply in Europe

Alberdi, I; Bender, S.; Riedel, T.; Avitable, V; Boriaud, O.; Bosela, M.; Camia, A.; Canellas, I; Rego, F. Castro; Fischer, C.; Freudenschuss, A.; Fridman, J.; Gasparini, P.; Gschwantner, T.; Guerrero, S.; Kjartansson, B. T.; Kucera, M.; Lanz, A.; Marin, G.; Mubareka, S.;
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The quantification of forests available for wood supply (FAWS) is essential for decision-making with regard to the maintenance and enhancement of forest resources and their contribution to the global carbon cycle. The provision of harmonized forest statistics is necessary for the development of forest associated policies and to support decision-making. Based on the National Forest Inventory (NFI) data from 13 European countries, we quantify and compare the areas and aboveground dry biomass (AGB) of FAWS and forest not available for wood supply (FNAWS) according to national and reference definitions by determining the restrictions and associated thresholds considered at country level to classify forests as FAWS or FNAWS.FAWS represent between 75 and 95 % of forest area and AGB for most of the countries in this study. Economic restrictions are the main factor limiting the availability of forests for wood supply, accounting for 67 % of the total FNAWS area and 56 % of the total FNAWS AGB, followed by environmental restrictions. Profitability, slope and accessibility as economic restrictions, and protected areas as environmental restrictions are the factors most frequently considered to distinguish between FAWS and FNAWS. With respect to the area of FNAWS associated with each type of restriction, an overlap among the restrictions of 13.7 % was identified. For most countries, the differences in the FNAWS areas and AGB estimates between national and reference definitions ranged from 0 to 5 %. These results highlight the applicability and reliability of a FAWS reference definition for most of the European countries studied, thereby facilitating a consistent approach to assess forests available for supply for the purpose of international reporting.


Wood resources; Harmonization; National forest inventory; Biomass; Restriction; FAWS

Published in

Forest Policy and Economics
2020, Volume: 111, article number: 102032

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    Forest Science

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