Andreas Hagenbo


(+47) 484 09 159

Ås - Bygg H8

Høgskoleveien 8, 1433 Ås


Forest harvest residue is a low-competitive biomass feedstock that is usually left to decay on site after forestry operations. Its removal and pyrolytic conversion to biochar is seen as an opportunity to reduce terrestrial CO2 emissions and mitigate climate change. The mitigation effect of biochar is, however, ultimately dependent on the availability of the biomass feedstock, thus CO2 removal of biochar needs to be assessed in relation to the capacity to supply biochar systems with biomass feedstocks over prolonged time scales, relevant for climate mitigation. In the present study we used an assembly of empirical models to forecast the effects of harvest residue removal on soil C storage and the technical capacity of biochar to mitigate national-scale emissions over the century, using Norway as a case study for boreal conditions. We estimate the mitigation potential to vary between 0.41 and 0.78 Tg CO2 equivalents yr−1, of which 79% could be attributed to increased soil C stock, and 21% to the coproduction of bioenergy. These values correspond to 9–17% of the emissions of the Norwegian agricultural sector and to 0.8–1.5% of the total national emission. This illustrates that deployment of biochar from forest harvest residues in countries with a large forestry sector, relative to economy and population size, is likely to have a relatively small contribution to national emission reduction targets but may have a large effect on agricultural emission and commitments. Strategies for biochar deployment need to consider that biochar's mitigation effect is limited by the feedstock supply which needs to be critically assessed.

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* In forests, ectomycorrhizal mycelium is pivotal for driving soil carbon and nutrient cycles, but how ectomycorrhizal mycelial dynamics vary in ecosystems with drought periods is unknown. We quantified the production and turnover of mycorrhizal mycelium in Mediterranean Pinus pinaster, Pinus sylvestris and Quercus ilex forests and related the estimates to standardised precipitation index (SPI), to study how mycelial dynamics relates to tree species and drought‐moisture conditions. * Production and turnover of mycelium was estimated between July and February, by quantifying the fungal biomass (ergosterol) in ingrowth mesh bags and using statistical modelling. SPI for time scales of 1–3 months was calculated from precipitation records and precipitation data over the study period. * Forests dominated by Pinus trees displayed higher biomass but were seasonally more variable, as opposed to Q. ilex forests where the mycelial biomass remained lower and stable over the season. Production and turnover, respectively, varied between 1.4–5.9 kg ha−1 d−1 and 7.2–9.9 times yr−1 over the different forest types and were positively correlated with 2‐month and 3‐month SPI over the study period. * Our results demonstrated that mycorrhizal mycelial biomass varied with season and tree species and we speculate that production and turnover are related to physiology and plant host performance during drought.