Carbon Losses Due to Wood Harvesting and the Role of Wood Products

  • Marco Marchetti
  • Gherardo Chirici
  • Bruno Lasserre
Part of the Environmental Science and Engineering book series (ESE)


The carbon stock in wood and paper products is increasing in Italy, and the same trend is expected in the coming decades. In forest ecosystems firewood and forest harvesting represent a net carbon loss but the use of wood, a carbon-neutral renewable resource for generating energy also has a strong substitution effect as it avoids the use of fossil fuels which are highly CO2 emitting. The use of wood for construction purposes, substituting traditional materials, tends to increase carbon sequestration and contributes to climate change mitigation. The application of the GHGs accounting methods (IPCC 2003) suffers in Italy both for the lack of accuracy of wood harvesting official statistics and for the high level of uncertainty in the definition of wood products lifespan. Many authors have demonstrated a large underestimation of clear cuts areas in Italy leading to an underestimation of carbon loss due to a harvesting of about 2 Mt annually. However, it has been recently proved that multitemporal high resolution remotely sensed images may be operatively used with a probabilistic sampling procedure to obtain a more reliable estimation of annual wood harvesting extents. In any case an increase of the use of wood products for energy, building and furniture purposes may contribute to the reduction of GHG emissions and to a more sustainable development.


Wood Product Forest Owner Carbon Loss Production Approach Harvest Wood Product 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco Marchetti
    • 1
  • Gherardo Chirici
    • 1
  • Bruno Lasserre
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biosciences and TerritoryUniversity of MolisePescheItaly

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