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Other publication2012

Is stump harvesting a remedy for the climate crisis or a curse for biodiversity? An interdisciplinary study of conflicting goals

Geijer, Erik; Andersson, Jon; Bostedt, Kjell Göran; Brännlund, Runar; Hjältén, Joakim


Dead wood is recognized as being one of the most important factors for forest biodiversity for many organism groups. One of the Swedish official environmental objectives is therefore to increase dead wood volume. However, reducing climate impact through increased use of forest biofuels is likely to work against this objective. The analysis is based on a regional economic forest sector model, focusing on northern Sweden, that includes suppliers and major users of roundwood and ecological results of stump harvest on forest biodiversity. The parameters of the model are estimated with a data set spanning 28 years. We simulate the effects of an increased demand for wood fuels in northern Sweden, with or without stump harvest. The two scenarios have different effects on all major roundwood markets in the region, as well as on biodiversity. More specifically, in our model, the scenario with stump harvest implies a 0.3 percent decrease in the emissions of greenhouse gases and a 4.12 percent reduction in overall population density of saproxylic beetles on each years future clear cuts. Thus, a clear goal conflict exists.

Published in

CERE Working Paper
2012, number: 2012:5
Publisher: Centre for Environmental and Resource Economics (CERE)