Author(s): Robert Jandl, Lars Vesterdal, Mats Olsson, Oliver Bens, Franz Badeck, Joachim Rock
Forest management has the potential to increase the terrestrial C pool. According to the rules of the Kyoto Protocol and of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, forestry can generate a sink for greenhouse gases that can contribute to meeting the national commitment to emissions reductions. Afforestation is a common strategy that over the course of decades leads to the incorporation of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) in plant biomass. However, site types such as wetlands and peatlands may even be a source of greenhouse gases when they are afforested. Adapted management of existing forests may have a less obvious or slower effect on the terrestrial C pool. It is mainly relevant in countries that already have a large forest cover. We analysed the effects of harvesting, rotation length, thinning, fertilizer application and tree-species selection. All these treatments have an impact on the forest productivity and consequently on C sequestration in the ecosystem. Many forest treatments are already an integral part of sustainable forestry practice. In the context of C sequestration and its accounting in national greenhouse-gas budgets, ecosystem stability is highly rated. Forests that are robust against disturbances up to a certain degree of severity are better suited for political commitments than stands of maximum productivity with a high risk of damages.