1887

Increased biomass harvesting for bioenergy

- effects on biodiversity, landscape amenities and cultural heritage values

image of Increased biomass harvesting for bioenergy

Bioenergy is one important form of renewable energy where Finland, Norway and Sweden have considerable potential. Greatly increased use of biomass for energy will, however, have considerable effects on environmental values like biodiversity, landscape appearance, outdoor recreation, and the cultural heritage. This review concludes that positive or marginally negative effects of biomass harvesting are likely for harvesting of logging residues, clearance of trees under power lines, along roads, and from marginal agricultural land, as well as production of energy crops on arable land. Negative effects are likely from harvesting of stumps, more intensive forest cultivation on logged areas, and harvesting of biomass from currently non-commercial forests. The environmental effects of production of biomass from reed canary grass or short rotation forestry will depend on where and how such production takes place.

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Summary

As part of a strategy to combat climate change, the Nordic countries intend to greatly increase the production and use of renewable energy. Bioenergy is one important form of renewable energy where Finland, Norway and Sweden in particular have considerable potential. Greatly increased use of biomass for energy may, however, have wide-reaching consequences for our land management and for associated environmental values. The aim of this review is to present an overview of current knowledge on the effects of biomass harvesting for the purpose of bioenergy on biodiversity, landscape amenities (especially outdoor recreation), and cultural heritage values in Fennoscandia. The review is based on existing studies and general knowledge of the production and harvesting systems and their effects.

English

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