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Environmental sustainability of SRF silvicultural systems

ShortFor Project - Work Package 4

Main objectives

The main objectives were to investigate the GHG balance of SRF over multiple rotations, the impact of harvesting on nutrient release and subsequent effect on soil fertility, and the sustainability of residue and stump removal.


  • T.4.1. Review of current knowledge of SRF GHG balance.
    A review of technical and scientific literature in relation to the GHG of SRF is being conducted.

  • T.4.2. Site selection.
    After a review of available data sources SRF sites planted with monocultures are selected for further soil assessment.

  • T.4.3. Soil carbon stocks.
    Selected sites are being assessed for soil carbon stock sampling across the country. These data will be representative of the soil types currently used for SRF.

  • T.4.4. Biomass stock allocation.
    Assessment of biomass allocation for two indicative species is being investigated to provide biomass models for the estimation of crop biomass and carbon stocks.

  • T.4.5. Sustainability of stump and residue harvest.
    Work on biomass stock allocation is going to be used to estimate long term sustainability of stump and residue removal, compared with non-removal to establish the impact on long-term site fertility levels.

  • T.4.6. Nutrient uptake and loss from SRF.
    A review on the impacts of the forest harvesting activities on nutrient release and mitigation methods is being conducted. Microcosm experiments are being conducted to investigate nutrient and hydrological demands for some potential species for SRF.

  • T.4.7. Life cycle analysis and modelling of SRF GHG balance.
    A full life cycle analysis is being conducted to accurately assess the full GHG mitigation potential of SRF in Ireland and compare results from SRF and conventional forestry plantations.

  • T.4.8. Assessment of environmental impacts of SRF.
    A summary of the environmental impacts of SRF is being compiled, including positive or negative qualitative rating for each impact.