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State of Finland's Forests 2012: Finnish Forests in
European context demonstrated with selected indicators

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Growing stock and carbon sequestration in wood and soil

Carbon stock on forest biomass (abouve ground and below ground) in million metric tones.


Growing stock is one of the basic figures of any forest inventory, and is useful for various purposes. The volume of growing stock indicates especially the opportunities available for the use of wood and harvesting forming also the basic input figure for several forestry planning calculations. The growing stock is further closely related to the above ground woody biomass in forests, and provides the data basis for calculating carbon sequestration and carbon budgets.


Growing stock in European countries

The most abundant growing stocks in Europe are in Germany, Sweden, France, Poland and Finland. Although Finland has an extensive forest area, the volume of wood per hectare is about the half of the volume of wood per hectare in Germany, Switzerland or Slovak Republic. This is the due to the different climatic and soil conditions and partly due to the different tree species. The trees such as spruce (Picea abies) are in Germany 10–15 meters higher and 10–20 cm thicker than in Finland.

The total growing stock in Europe is 32,690 million m3, and the increase of the volume has been 1,2% or 356 million m3/year during the last 20 years. In Finland the corresponding figures are 2 206 million m3 and 1,0% or 22 million m3/year.


Carbon sequestration

Europe’s and Finland’s forests are major carbon sinks, as they absorb large amount of CO2 from the atmosphere. Carbon stock of forest biomass (above and below ground) in EU 27 is 9,900 million metric tons of carbon. In EU-27 the annual sequestration of CO2 in forest biomass is 430 million tons, which corresponds to 9% of the greenhouse gas emissions of these EU-27 countries. In Finland forests sequestered in average 35 million tonnes of CO2 per year during the last 10 years, which is equivalent to about 50% of the carbon dioxide emissions of Finnish industries.


Growing stock volume per hectare (left) and volume (right) on forest, 2010.



  Updated: 10.12.2012 /MLier |  Photo: Erkki Oksanen, Metla, unless otherwise stated | Copyright Metla | Feedback