Modification and adjustment of the Full Verified Carbon Account of Forest Ecosystems (Ukraine) based on integration of ground research, remote sensing data and regional models applied to forest ecosystems of Ukrainian Polissya

FORCU is a two year, OeAD funded, SCIENTIFIC & TECHNOLOGICAL COOPERATION between Austria and the Ukraine (2017-18). 

The study will result in improved methodological approaches to Full & Verified Carbon Account of Forests including different models (growth and development of modal stands of main forest forming tree species of Ukraine, dynamics of live biomass, detritus and assessment of Net Primary Production, Heterotrophic Respiration, fluxes due to disturbances, lateral transport of carbon etc.) as well as valuation of selected ecosystem services of forest ecosystems.

The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) has developed a generic methodology of the Full and Verified Carbon Account (FCA) of terrestrial ecosystems taking into account the fuzziness of the studied system. This methodology pays particular attention to forests, as the most complicated and most effective type of ecosystems with respect to the impacts on the global carbon cycle. However, this methodology, for proper implementation over large and specific territories, requires regional modification of the methods, development and adjustment of diverse models, accumulation of experimental data, particularly on growth of forest stands and land use change, assessment of dynamic qualitative and quantitative parameters of forest ecosystems functioning, and research of their interactions and structural features.

Achieving zero emissions target by countries that ratify the Paris (climate) agreement requires finding ways to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon sequestration, and improve the methodology of accounting for greenhouse gas emissions and their sequestration in forest ecosystems. FCA has two equally important outputs: solid estimation of major intermediate and final results and reliable evaluation of their uncertainties. In order to reach that, FCA, as a typical fuzzy (underspecified) system, should be based  on a relevant combination of different methods of carbon  cycling with following mutual constrains of independently received results and their uncertainties. The problem becomes more sophisticated due to clearly negative forecasts of vulnerability of Ukrainian forests to climate change in 21st century (Shvidenko et al. 2017).

Scientists of European countries are actively working on accumulation of experimental data for estimation of ecosystems parameters and improvement of mechanisms for accounting the carbon cycle. This study is considered as a contribution to the European science on global change for the territory which has not been comprehensively investigated in the past.

Together with the National University of Life and Environment Sciences of Ukraine IIASA will contribute to a better understanding of growth, productivity and vitality of forests of Ukraine and their impacts on major global biogeochemical cycles in a rapidly changing world.


Shvidenko, A., Buksha, I., Krakovska, S., & Lakyda, P. (2017). Vulnerability of Ukrainian forests to climate change. Sustainability 9 e1152. 10.3390/su9071152.

Shvidenko, A., Schepaschenko, D. , Kraxner, F., & Fritz, S. (2015). Full verified carbon account of forest ecosystems as a fuzzy system: An attempt to assess uncertainty. In: Proceedings, 4th International Workshop on Uncertainty in Atmospheric Emissions, 7-9 October 2015, Krakow, Poland. pp. 1-8 Warsaw, Poland: Systems Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences. ISBN 83-894-7557-X

Shvidenko, A., Schepaschenko, D. , McCallum, I. , Kraxner, F., Nilsson, S., & Maksyutov, S. (2009). Verified terrestrial ecosystems full carbon account for Russia: A reanalysis (Abstract). In: [[8th International Carbon Dioxide Conference]], 13-19 September 2009, Jena, Germany