Results

The main expected results of the project will be the following:
1. Demonstration of the three mitigation options of i) reduction/prevention of emissions, ii)
sequestration – enhancing uptake of C and iii) substitution of fossil fuels for energy production with
biological products. Specifc performance indicators will be quantified and reported.
In detail the innovative thinning treatment will result in:
– increased net primary production of forest ecosystem, due to the removal of non-growing or dead
trees and the higher growth rates of remained vegetation. An increment of productivity up to 40 – 60 %
can be expected;
– an initial increase of greenhouse gas emissions is expected, followed by a stabilization towards a
reduction after thinning treatment;
– reduction of heterotrophic respiration of decomposable deadwood material, with a consequent
reduction of CO2 emissions in the range of 5-15 % per year is expected in the medium-long term;
– only minor changes in N2O and CH4 emissions are expected, although their accounting is very
important due to possible high peaks of N2O emissions in the short term that might alter the global
warming potential;
– the decrease of standing biomass due to harvesting will be counterbalanced by the energy cogeneration
of wood material as fossil fuels substitution option. We expect a neutral balance from living
plants and a positive balance from dead trees, corresponding to 40 % of forest biomass;
– carbon credits deriving from the thinning intervention will be quantified;
– selective thinning andharvesting to reduce tree densities and remove deadwood material will
reduce the probability and intensities of fires.
2. Provide “guidelines of good and sustainable silvicultural practices” for degraded coniferous
forests restoration integrating greenhouse gases reduction objective in the framework of European
mitigation targets. In detail, this result will include:
– updated knowledge about the effectiveness of new forest management practices in meeting climate
change mitigation objectives;
– evaluation of management effects on health status of coniferous stands, ecological stability and
restoration;
– demonstration of an innovative thinning treatment to adopt for the restoration of degraded