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Regional effects of alternative climate change and management scenarios on timber production, economic profitability, and carbon stocks in Norway spruce forests in Finland

Zubizarreta-Gerendiain, A., Garcia-Gonzalo, J., Strandman, H., Jylhä, K., Peltola, H.
Canadian journal of forest research = 2015 v.46 no.2 pp. 274-283
Picea abies, carbon sinks, climate change, climatic factors, forest ecosystems, forests, income, models, profitability, timber production, uncertainty, Finland
We studied regional effects of alternative climate change and management scenarios on timber production, its economic profitability (net present value (NPV), with 2% interest rate), and carbon stocks over a 90 year simulation period in Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) forests located in southern, central, and northern Finland. We also compared the results of optimised management plans (maximizing incomes) and fixed management scenarios. Business as usual (BAU) management recommendations were used as the basis for alternative management scenarios. The forest ecosystem model SIMA together with a forest optimisation tool was employed. To consider the uncertainties related to climate change, we applied two climate change scenarios (SRES B1 and SRES A2) in addition to the current climate. Results showed that timber production, NPV, and carbon stocks of forests would reduce in southern Finland, opposite to northern Finland, especially under the strong climate change scenario (SRES A2) compared with the current climate. In central Finland, climate change would have little effect. The use of optimised management plans also resulted in higher timber yield, NPV, and carbon stock of forests compared with the use of a single management scenario, regardless of forest region and climate scenario applied. In the future, we may need to modify the current BAU management recommendations to properly adapt to the changing climatic conditions.