Establishing ecologically sustainable forest biomass supply chains: A case study in the boreal forest of Canada

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1 Establishing ecologically sustainable forest biomass supply chains: A case study in the boreal forest of Canada Evelyne Thiffault Canadian Forest Service David Paré Canadian Forest Service Sylvain Volpé Denis Cormier FPInnovations Perttu Anttila Metla

2 Dark side of the Force

3 Minimise net emissions to the atmosphere Bioenergy Fossil fuel Non-forest land use Forest ecosystems Wood products Other products Land-use sector Forest sector Services used by society IPCC 2007 ch 9: Forestry, AR4, Groupe III

4 Area required to produce electricity Hydro San José, California hectares 1 million inhabitants 740 MW Natural gas Solar Biomass Source: Science 329:

5

6 Harvest residues: tree tops and branches Canadian Forest Service

7 Dead trees from naturally disturbed stands Canadian Forest Service

8 Short rotation woody crops Poplar trees Not so popular trees

9 Forest biomass availability in Canada s managed forests Dymond et al For. Ecol. Manage. 260: Oven dry Gg / year Harvest residues Salvage wood - Wildfire Salvage wood - Insects 1 Gg = 1000 metric tons

10 Potential of forest biomass as an energy supply in Canada Paré et al For. Chron. 87: % 50 Roundwood Salvage harvesting Harvest residues 25 0 Energy consumption in Canada Potential energy from forest biomass

11 Forest bioenergy can contribute to energy demand and mitigate climate change. Canada s forests have a high potential for bioenergy but are not a panacea.

12 Social license for forest management is hard to get

13 In an effort to change their public image, the timber industry adopts a new harvesting strategy.

14 Public concerns with forest biomass harvesting: Maintaining forest ecological services

15 Case study: Establishing ecologically sustainable forest biomass supply chains Thiffault et al.

16 Study area

17 Availability of harvest residues Cost of procurement C emissions forestenergy.org

18 Ecological concerns with intensive forest biomass harvesting: Soil erosion Soil nutrient and organic matter depletion Sedimentation in water bodies Destruction of habitats associated with woody debris Spatial constraints to residue removal

19 High tolerance to ecological impacts

20 Moderate tolerance to ecological impacts Longer driving distance to supply the same amount of residues

21 Low tolerance to ecological impacts

22 Harvest residue availability According to tolerance to ecological impacts 100% 16 75% % 7 Availability loss during transport loss during recovery ecological constraints 25% % High tolerance Moderate tolerance Low tolerance

23 Cost of procurement of harvest residues according to tolerance to ecological impacts 1,50 1,45 1,40 Relative cost, $/oven-dry tons 1,35 1,30 1,25 1,20 1,15 1,10 1,05 Opportunity cost of protecting ecosystem services High tolerance (Reference) Moderate tolerance Low tolerance 1,00 0,95 0, Harvest residues availability, 1000 oven-dry tons/year

24 C emissions along the supply chain of harvest residues 10 % C emissions : C delivered Non-significant difference C emissions along the supply chain per unit of energy are much lower than for any form of fossil fuel High tolerance Moderate tolerance Low tolerance Harvest residues availability, 1000 dry-tons/year

25 High (but not too strict) standards of ecosystem protection do not have significant impacts on availability and costs of forest biomass.

26 Something to mull over Agricultural Intensification: Will land spared from farming be land spared for nature? Matson and Vitousek 2006, Conservation Biology 20: How can intensive systems be designed so that they have fewer and smaller impacts on ecosystems?

27 Best method to protect ecosystem services on a regional or global level: Intensification on the best lands More lands «saved for nature» Canadian Forest Service

28 BUT: Off-site effects of intensive systems: Reduce capacity of surrounding ecosystems to provide ecological services Canadian Forest Service

29 Intensive systems: Purposefully developped so that they spare land for nature Increased precision and efficiency in production Have to be considered as parts of a greater system

30 Good side of the Force!

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