Forest Ecosystem Management (FEM): Biomass studies

In 2013 the Forest Ecosystem Management (FEM) research group studied how to manage forests for maximization of forest stock and forest increment, as well as the availability of woody biomass for the energy sector.

Wood, biomass © NASA

Wood, biomass

Forests play an important role in the global carbon flow. They can store carbon and can also provide wood which can be substituted for other combustible materials, like fossil fuels. However, the pressures on the forest are growing, as the value of and demand for forest products grows.

Therefore it has never been more important to improve our understanding of the forest ecosystems and devise sustainable management strategies, both as sinks for carbon and as potential providers of fuel for energy. 

FEM in 2013 investigated how biomass stock, harvests, and increments will develop under different climate scenarios and two management scenarios:

  1. where high biomass amounts are stored in forests and
  2. where there are high increment rates and much harvested wood.

FEM also looked at the sectoral competition in terms of energy and material use.  

Potential stocks and increments of woody biomass in the European Union under different management and climate scenarios

The aim of the project was to analyze two contrary and yet sustainable forest management options under the influence of climate change: maximization of forest stock and maximization of forest increment. More

Woody biomass availability and sectoral competition

A new study, which analyzed future woody biomass resource availability plus sectoral competition for biomass for energy and material use, showed the key question for biomass energy use not to be the amount of resources available but rather their accessibility and thus their price. More

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Last edited: 11 June 2014


Nicklas Forsell

Research Scholar

Ecosystems Services and Management

T +43(0) 2236 807 334

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International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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