Scaling from Stand to Landscape of Climate Change Mitigation by Afforestation and Forest Management: a Modeling Approach

J.F. Garcia-Quijano, G. Deckmyn, R. Ceulemans, J. van Orsthoven, B. Muys

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    There is a gap between the increased scientific understanding of carbon pools and fluxes at individual trees/stand and that of forested landscape with complex structures (i.e. variety of species, age classes, site characteristic and management practices). The question about how results generated from a simulated physiologically distinct individual(s)/stands grown at a particular location (scale) can be extrapolated (scaling) across a diverse population in time and space with diverse environments, has been troubling scientists for many years. Scale and scaling present three problems in common: (a) spatial heterogeneity, (b) non-linearity in response and (c) disturbance regimes. Scale, in particular, presents other three problems: (d) threshold scale for processes, (e) dominant processes with scales and (f) emerging properties of the system. Scaling presents problems with (g) feedbacks between plants and environment and (h) plant interactions. The present study proposes a modeling framework linking a process-based model SECRETS - to overcome some of the scale and scaling problems (a, b, c, d and g) - to a C accounting model GORCAM - to integrate the effects of C stock in wood products and from fossil fuel substitution. The capabilities of the modeling framework are tested against three theoretical complex forested landscapes that combine some of the five following scenarios: existing multifunctional forest under (1) actual and (2) changing environmental conditions, and afforestation of an agricultural area with (3) a new multifunctional forest or with (4) a short rotation coppice (poplar) or with (5) an agricultural crop (miscanthus) for bioenergy production. Forest reserves calculations are included for completeness of the landscape C balance and as reference. Results, on the one hand, suggest that the framework is able to simulate C sequestration and stock in ecosystem pools, wood products and fossil fuel substitution of the scenarios under actual environmental conditions. However, comparison of results under changing environmental conditions, against specific plant literature suggest SECRETS formulation must be improved with recent development in photosynthesis, stomatal conductance and N balances. On the other hand, results also suggest that under actual environmental conditions, the optimum landscape scenario to sequester C and avoid fossil emissions to the atmosphere is composed by existing multifunctional forest, reserves and afforestation with short rotation coppice for bioenergy production. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)397-424
    JournalClimatic Change
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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