Forest covers 38% of Norway's land area, is basis for forestry and forest industries as one of the country's most important land-based economic sectors, and provide important environmental services, like recreation, conservation of biological diversity, and sequestration of climate gases. Future climate change is of vital interest for forestry and environmental policy in Norway, and it is a strong advantage to use forest ecosystem process models and combine their results with bioieconomic modelling.
Th e principle objectives of the project is to develop suitable forest ecosystem process models for Norway and use them as basis for providing new research-based knowledge on how and to what degree expected climate changes are likely to influence (i) m ain forest ecosystem functions like species composition, tree growth, tree mortality, carbon sequestration in biomass and soil, nitrogen cycling; and (ii) forest management, income and employment in forestry and forest industries.
The project has t he following sub-goals:
S1: Evaluate existing forest ecosystem process models relevant for the boreal forests, and choose and validate one or two of these models for further use in Norway.
S2: Use the chosen process model(s) together with prognosis from RegClim to estimate the climate change impacts on main forest ecosystem functions (like species composition, tree growth, tree mortality, carbon sequestration in biomass and soil, nitrogen cycling).
S3: Integrate the results from S2 into two existin g bio-economic models (GAYA-JLP and NTM 2) to analyse the climate change impacts on forest management, sustainable harvest, and net carbon sequestration (including soil impacts), and on income and employment in forestry and forest industries in Norway.
S4: Analyse the uncertainty in the results obtained under S2 and S3 with particular emphasis on identifying the relative importance of the main risk factors (like climate change prognosis, various response functions in the process models, forest damage a ssumptions, economic factors)
A derived objectives of the project is to strengthen the research capacity for doing process modelling of forest ecosystems in Norway and link it to bio-economic modelling, and to make possible consistent upscaling of resu lts from rather detailed forest ecosystem level to regional level. The project will be done in cooperation with leading international institutes in the field of forest process modelling, and be based on climate change data provided by RegClim.