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Promoting Ecological Sustainability in Woody Biomass Harvesting

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Enthusiasm for the use of forest biomass as an energy resource is growing as a result of increased energy costs and a desire to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change. Although the opportunity exists for forests to have a significant role in the development and use of bioenergy technologies, justifiable concerns regarding the long-term sustainability of using forest-based energy feedstocks have emerged. In this article, we review the state of our knowledge regarding the impacts of intensive forestry with respect to issues relevant to bioenergy production, including soil and site productivity, hydrologic quality, and biodiversity. We then present guiding principles intended to aid with sustainable forest management decisions.

Keywords: bioenergy; biomass harvesting; forest productivity; forest residues; sustainable forest management

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

    Also published by SAF:
    Forest Science
    Other SAF Publications
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