Weathering and sustainable forestry

A forest machine on a clear-cut. Photo.

No industrial country has greater hopes than Sweden for forestry’s role in its energy future. But official national calculations indicate that the supply of weathering products (e.g. Ca, Mg) is not sufficient to sustain current levels of forest harvest in large areas of the country, much less increased harvests.

This deficit in weathering generated by forest harvest in Sweden is of great concern for the supply of both nutrients to the trees and alkalinity to aquatic ecosystems. This research program will provide state-of-the-art estimates of weathering at the spatial and temporal scales relevant to the sustainable forest management with explicit representation of uncertainty.  Development of weathering models is occurring in the confrontation of models with data from the scales of laboratory, plot and catchment studies to improve the quantification of key processes, and then apply the improved models to management scale estimates.

Contacts: Kevin Bishop, Martin Erlandsson