A multi-criteria decision support model for optimal stump harvesting Sweden was developed. The model quantifies the effect of harvesting each individual stump over a harvesting object in four criteria's: - Biodiversity (Biodiversity value index) - Economy (SEK) - Greenhouse gas emissions (CO2) - Soil and water (Soil and water preservation index) The four criteria's are sometimes in conflict to each other, and uses values that are not directly comparable. The intended use for this model is to contribute with the objective evaluation of all four criteria's in the decision in what stumps to harvest and what stumps to leave in the harvesting object. The model uses individual stump data (e.g. position, tree species and stump biomass) and harvesting object GIS data (roads, elevation map, soil map, terrain map). Primary data on individual stumps comes from the logging system in the stem harvesters: GPS and operator classification. Such data are routinely collected in harvesters. Official map data for the harvesting object are available from the Swedish mapping, cadastral and land registration authority (Lantmäteriet). This includes the topographic map and elevation maps data in 2 m resolution. Also, GIS data are collected in the inspections before harvesting the stems. The biodiversity sub-model considers different types of wood-dependent organisms (lichens, mosses, insects and fungi) in terms of their habitat requirements, vulnerability, sun exposure preferences, locality, etc. A panel of external experts has drawn up a grading scale of stump values for the different taxonomic groups. The proximity to key habitats and exposure to sunlight are derived from a spatial model. In the economic sub-model the potential net return from each stump is calculated based on estimated revenue from harvested stump biomass and the costs of stump harvesting and transport (based on cost functions and GIS calculations of transport distances). An energy and climate sub-model incorporates greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from forest operations and the effect of advancing GHG emissions when stump biomass is incinerated instead of being left to decompose. Soil and water issues are handled within a sub-model estimating the consequences for long-term soil fertility (nutrient cycling and soil compaction) and water (leaching of plant nutrients and mercury, and particle transport due to soil damage by heavy machinery). Each criteria is evaluated in totally four sub-models. To be able to compare the resulting value from each of the criteria, a harvesting index from 0 to 1 is calculated for each stump. The value 0 represents ‘Not at all suitable for harvest’ and 1 ‘Highly suitable for harvest’. Through this, a stump of high biodiversity value is assigned a low harvesting index in the biodiversity sub-model and a large, easily accessible stump is assigned a high harvesting index in the economic sub-model. When calculating the total net index, the harvesting index from each criteria has to be weighed together using one coefficient for each criteria. The weighing coefficient for each criteria is chosen according to the preferences of the decision maker. The tool offers the end-user possibilities to prioritise and plan for cost-effective stump harvesting, while minimising negative environmental impacts.
The symposium Bioenergy Research at SLU, 25 September 2012 at SLU, Ultuna, Sweden.