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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2017

Habitat network assessment of forest bioenergy options using the landscape simulator LandSim - A case study of Kronoberg, southern Sweden

Pang, Xi; Mörtberg, Ulla; Sallnäs, Ola; Trubins, Renats; Nordström, Eva-Maria; Boettcher, Hannes


Forest biomass is a renewable resource that is increasingly utilised for bioenergy purposes in Sweden, which along with the extraction of industrial wood may conflict with biodiversity conservation. The aim of this paper is to present a method for integrated sustainability assessment of forest biomass extraction, particularly from bioenergy and biodiversity perspectives. The landscape simulator LandSim was developed and linked with models for the assessment of biomass yields and habitat networks representing prioritised biodiversity components. It was applied in a case study in Kronoberg County in southern Sweden. Forest growth and management were simulated for the period 2010-2110, following two land zoning scenarios, one applying even-aged forest management on all forest land except for protected areas (EAF-tot), and one applying continuous cover forest management on parts of the forest land, combined with protected areas and an intensified even-aged management on the other parts (CCF-int). The EAF-tot scenario implied higher yields of biomass feedstock for bioenergy, the CCF-int scenario only giving 66% of that yield, while the CCF-int scenario performed substantially better when it came to the habitat network indicators, if habitat suitability was ensured. Conclusively, the case study confirmed that the modelling framework of the LEcA tool, linking the landscape simulator LandSim with the biomass yield assessment and the habitat network model can be used for integrating main policy concerns when assessing renewable energy options. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Habitat networks; Forest bioenergy; Forest management; Landscape simulation; Trade-off analysis; Integrated assessment

Published in

Ecological Modelling
2017, Volume: 345, pages: 99-112