An integrated assessment approach to optimal forest bioenergy production for young Scots pine stands

Tianjian Cao, Kari Petri Hyytiäinen, Henna Tuulia Hurttala, Lauri Tapani Valsta, Jerome Vanclay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Bioenergy is re-shaping opportunities and imperatives of forest management. This study demonstrates, through a case study in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), how forest bioenergy policies affect stand management strategies.


Optimization studies were examined for 15 Scots pine stands of different initial stand densities, site types, and temperature sum regions in Finland. Stand development was modelled using the PipeQual stand simulator coupled with the simulation-optimization tool OptiFor Bioenergy to assess three forest bioenergy policies on energy wood harvest from early thinnings.


The optimal solutions maximizing bare land value indicate that conventional forest management regimes remain optimal for sparse stands. Energy harvests occurred only when profitable, led to lower financial returns. A forest bioenergy policy which included compulsory energy wood harvesting was optimal for denser stands. At a higher interest rate (4 %), increasing energy wood price postponed energy wood harvesting. In addition, our results show that early thinning somewhat reduced wood quality for stands in fertile sites. For less fertile sites, the changes were insignificant.


A constraint of profitable energy wood harvest is not rational. It is optimal to carry out the first thinning with a flexible forest bioenergy policy depending on stand density.
Original languageEnglish
Article number19
JournalForest Ecosystems
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 4112 Forestry

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