Integrated European
Long-Term Ecosystem, critical zone and
socio-ecological Research

Special issue on ”Integrating carbon sequestration and biodiversity impacts in forested ecosystems”

14 November 2023

An article on ”Integrating carbon sequestration and biodiversity impacts in forested ecosystems” was published in the Ambio journal Special Issue: Carbon sequestration and biodiversity impacts in forested ecosystems, on 16 October 2023. This issue contains several papers where LTER data has been used in spatial modelling, remote sensing, developments of research infrastructures, and prioritization of important areas for biodiversity and carbon values. The special issue also contains papers on economic instruments and policy integration.

This special issue brings together insights and experiences from 11 studies focusing on evaluation and integration of carbon (C) and greenhouse gas (GHG) processes, and biodiversity impacts mainly in boreal forested ecosystems. The multidisciplinary approaches include integrated modelling, mass-balance studies, Earth Observation (EO) techniques, research infrastructure developments, and evaluation of policy measures and economic compensation schemes. Although the focus is on forested ecosystems due to their large C storage and sequestration potential, importance for biodiversity, and often dominating role in the landscape, some of the papers also have a landscape approach, considering also other ecosystems (agricultural, wetland, and freshwater ecosystems) and GHG emissions from anthropogenic sources. The spatial scale of the articles ranges from detailed site-specific to a European scale. Some of the articles present main findings from a large research project funded by the Academy of Finland (IBC-Carbon), and they are complemented by other studies and international articles.

Research Infrastructures can support harmonised, cross-site data collection, curation and publication. Integrating RI networks through site co-location and standardised observation methods can help answers three questions about the terrestrial carbon sink: (i) What are present and future carbon sequestration rates in northern European forests? (ii) How are these rates controlled? (iii) Why do the observed patterns exist? Bearing these in mind, among the published papers in in this special issue, we would like to highlight an article 'Leveraging research infrastructure co-location to evaluate constraints on terrestrial carbon cycling in northern European forests', where we present a conceptual model for RI co-location and highlight potential insights into the terrestrial carbon sink achievable when long-term in-situ Earth observation sites participate in multiple RI networks (e.g., ICOS and eLTER). Finally, we offer recommendations to promote RI co-location.

Ambio [The year 2022 Impact factor 6.5] – A Journal of Environment and Society publishes research on the interrelationships between society and environment. Note that all the papers in this special issue are published under open access policy. Therefore, hopefully, these papers will be extensively used and referred to. Please distribute this information using your channels as you see feasible. Among all the five guest editors of this special issue, University of Helsinki /eLTER Research Coordinator Dr. Syed Ashraful Alam (Main guest editor; and Finnish Environment Institute Research Prof. Martin Forsius (Chair, Coordination Team; played a prominent role to make this endeavour successful.

Several other open access papers are available online:

  1. Modelling the regional potential for reaching carbon neutrality in Finland: Sustainableforestry, energy use and biodiversity protection 
  2. Effect of forest management choices on carbon sequestration and biodiversity at national scale
  3. Utilizing historical maps in identification of long-term land use and land cover changes 
  4. Reforming a pre-existing biodiversity conservation scheme: Promoting climate cobenefits by a carbon payment
Fraction of new protected forested area needed in the 18 administrative regions of mainland Finland to reach the 10% protection target of the EU biodiversity strategy, part of article 1