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The role of peatlands in Finnish wood production: An analysis based on large-scale forest scenario modelling


, : The role of peatlands in Finnish wood production: An analysis based on large-scale forest scenario modelling. Silva Fennica 34(2): 131-153

Using the Finnish MELA model, a set of scenarios were produced and used to map the possibilities and risks surrounding the utilisation of peatlands in wood production in Finland. One of the scenarios was an estimate of allowable-cut calculated by maximising the net present value of the future revenues using a four per cent interest rate subject to non-decreasing flow of wood, saw logs and net income over a 50-year period, and net present value after the 50 year period greater or equal than in the beginning. The estimate for maximum regionally sustained removal in 1996-2005 was 68 million m3 per year - approaching 74 million m3 during the next decades. In this scenario, 14 per cent of all cuttings during the period 1996-2005 would be made on peatlands, which comprise ca. 31 per cent of the total area of forestry land. By the year 2025, the proportion of peatland cuttings would increase to over 20 per cent. The increase in future cutting possibilities on peatlands compensated for a temporary decrease in cuttings and growing stock on mineral soils. The allowable-cut effect was especially pronounced in northern Finland, where peatlands play an important role in wood production. In addition, the sensitivity of cutting possibilities for assumptions related to growth and price were analysed. The estimate of maximum sustainable yield as defined here seems to be fairly robust on the whole, except in northern Finland where the cutting scenarios were sensitive to the changes in the price of birch pulpwood. The proportion of peatland stands that are profitable for timber production depends on the interest rate: the higher the rate of interest the less peatland stands are thinned. The effect of cutting profile on future logging conditions and resulting costs were analysed in two forestry centres. If clear cuttings on mineral soils are to be cut first, an increase in future logging costs is inevitable.

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