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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

A generic simulation model for relating forest CO2 intake and CO2 emissions by forest operations - The R-package care4cmodel

Biber, Peter; Grigolato, Stefano; Schmucker, Julia; Pretzsch, Hans; Uhl, Enno


Carbon stocks and flows in forest ecosystems play an important role in the context of climate change mitigation. Different aspects of the forest carbon balance, however, are often treated independently, leading to a fragmented, disciplinary knowledge. With the R-package care4cmodel we want to support a consolidated view of forest growth and forest operations with respect to carbon flows. The software is, in essence, a pragmatic simulation tool that allows juxtaposing the CO2 uptake due to wood increment and the CO2 emissions due to forest operations for given silvicultural concepts in an arbitrary area, over time. At the core, the approach is a dynamic forest area model where forest development stages are represented in a cyclical sequence, which can be broken by disturbances. The model scales up growth and yield information given per forest development stage and unit area to the dynamically simulated development stage areas. This allows to quantify the total forest area's CO2 uptake, and to estimate the CO2 emissions caused by forest operations. The forest operations in our implementation include the maintenance of the forest road network, felling trees, debranching and bucking the stems, and extracting the timber to a landing at a forest road. The transport from there to the industry is beyond the system boundary. For the CO2 uptake of the forest system, the current model version focuses on the wood increment only. We use a practical example to demonstrate the basic features of the model and its plausible behaviour. Beyond the current focus of the model, we see a broad field of applications as a generic meta model, especially in the context of ecosystem service provision.


Generic forest simulation model; Carbon sequestration; CO2 emissions; Forest operations; Forest dynamics; System dynamics

Published in

Computers and Electronics in Agriculture
2024, Volume: 222, article number: 109091

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

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