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Do forests cool the Earth? Reconciling sustained productivity and minimum climate response with portfolios of contrasting forest management strategies

Do forests cool the Earth? Reconciling sustained productivity and minimum climate response with portfolios of contrasting forest management strategies

Objective

Forests, of which globally 70% are managed, play a particularly important role in the global carbon cycle. Recently, forest management became a top priority on the agenda of the political negotiations to mitigate climate change because forest plantations may remove atmospheric CO2 and if used for energy production, the wood is a substitute for fossil fuel. However, this political imperative is at present running well ahead of the science required to deliver it. Despite the key implications of forest management on: 1) the carbon-energy-water balance, and 2) production, recreation and environmental protection, there are no integrated studies of its effects on the Earth s climate. The overall goal of DOFOCO is to quantify and understand the role of forest management in mitigating climate change. Specifically, I want to challenge the current focus on the carbon cycle and replace it with a total climate impact approach. Hence, the whole forest management spectrum ranging from short rotation coppice to old-growth forests will be analyzed for its effects on the water, energy and carbon cycles. Climate response of forest will be quantified by means of albedo, evapotranspiration, greenhouse gas sources and sinks and their resulting climate feedback mechanisms. The anticipated new quantitative results will be used to lay the foundations for a portfolio of management strategies which will sustain wood production while minimizing climate change impacts. DOFOCO is interdisciplinary and ground breaking because it brings together state-of-the art data and models from applied life and Earth system sciences; it will deliver the first quantitative insights into how forest management strategies can be linked to climate change mitigation.
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Principal Investigator

Sebastiaan Luyssaert (Dr.)

Host institution

COMMISSARIAT A L ENERGIE ATOMIQUE ET AUX ENERGIES ALTERNATIVES

Address

Rue Leblanc 25
75015 Paris 15

France

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 1 296 125

Principal Investigator

Sebastiaan Luyssaert (Dr.)

Administrative Contact

Excelso Da Silva (Mr.)

Beneficiaries (1)

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COMMISSARIAT A L ENERGIE ATOMIQUE ET AUX ENERGIES ALTERNATIVES

France

EU Contribution

€ 1 296 125

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 242564

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 February 2010

  • End date

    31 October 2015

Funded under:

FP7-IDEAS-ERC

  • Overall budget:

    € 1 296 125

  • EU contribution

    € 1 296 125

Hosted by:

COMMISSARIAT A L ENERGIE ATOMIQUE ET AUX ENERGIES ALTERNATIVES

France