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Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

A Conceptual Landscape-Level Approach to Assess the Impacts of Forestry on Biodiversity

Mattsson, Eskil; Erlandsson, Martin; Karlsson, Per Erik; Holmstrom, Hampus


In this study, we propose a conceptual approach to assessing biodiversity impacts in the life-cycle assessments (LCAs) of forest wood production with a focus on Nordic managed forests at the landscape level. As a basis for our methodology, we suggest assessing the proportion of the total land area of productive forest under the control of a forest owner that fulfils certain criteria that can be regarded as having a positive impact on the development of forest biodiversity. A similar assessment of the forest management performed on the surrounding land is used to define a site-specific reference situation. In the context of an attributional LCA, the suggested method for the specification of business-as-usual (BAU) or environmental quality objectives (EQO) baselines encourages forest owners to choose forest management options that increase the proportion of productive forest land with properties that are more favorable to biodiversity over time. We illustrate the BAU baseline approach with two examples in Sweden to calculate the biodiversity impact from wood production for individual forest owners using four biodiversity indicators from the Swedish national Environmental Quality Objectives (EQOS)-'Living Forests'. The approach defined in this study is at this stage only applicable to forestry assessments. Using a BAU baseline approach similar to that used for international climate reporting is a simple but novel approach that makes use of consensuses that have already been drawn and approaches that have already been established.


biodiversity; forest management; landscape; reference situation; baseline; life-cycle assessment; wood production; bioeconomy

Published in

2022, Volume: 14, number: 7, article number: 4214
Publisher: MDPI

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG15 Life on land

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