Forests have always been considered for the many benefits they provide society with, habitat provision for animals, erosion control, water regulation, wood provision. Since the 90s and the Kyoto protocol however, they are also seen as a lever in the fight against climate change. Forests appear in international climate agreements and national plans are set up to increase wood use as a replacement of fossil fuel based energy and material. A lot of uncertainty however remains on the carbon and climate effects of different forest management practices. I will present a suite of modeling experiments at different scales and with different modeling complexities that complement each other to give a complete picture of the potential of forest management to mitigate climate change. The time horizon considered appears as the main determinant to the carbon mitigation potential, while the biogeophysical versus biophysical effects of forest cover change appear to compensate, reducing the climate benefits of increased carbon sequestration.
Aude Valade is a “Marie Curie” researcher at CREAF mainly focusing on forest management's role for climate change mitigation and adaptation. She received a PhD in environmental science at the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (Saclay), studying the importance of trait parameters for mechanistic modeling of crop yields. As a post-doctoral researcher at Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (Paris) she turned from crops to forests, developing and using a range of models of forest growth, management and wood use to understand the potential of forestry to mitigate carbon emissions and climate change. Her current research focuses on the adaptation of Mediterranean forests to climate change through phenotypic plasticity by integrating trait variability in a mechanistic model of land surface. Other ongoing projects involve the study of the drivers of carbon substitution in the forest sector and the mechanistic modeling of hydraulic architecture in land surface models.
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