Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1111/gcbb.12400
Title (Primary) The expansion of short rotation forestry: characterization of determinants with an agent-based land use model
Author Schulze, J.; Gawel, E.; Nolzen, H.; Weise, H.; Frank, K. ORCID logo
Source Titel Global Change Biology Bioenergy
Year 2017
Department OEKON; OESA; iDiv
Volume 9
Issue 6
Page From 1042
Page To 1056
Language englisch
Keywords agent-based model; bioeconomy; energy crops; farmer; human decision-making; landscape generators; woody biomass
UFZ wide themes RU5
Abstract Wood is a limited resource which is exposed to a continuously growing global demand not least because of a politically fostered bioenergy use. One approach to master the challenge to sustainably meet this increasing wood demand is short rotation forestry (SRF). However, SRF is only gradually evolving and it is not fully understood which determinants hamper its expansion. This study provides theoretical insights into economic and environmental determinants of an SRF expansion and their interplay. This assessment requires the incorporation of farmers' decision-making based on an explicit investment appraisal. Therefore, we use an agent-based model to depict the decision-making of profit-maximizing farmers facing the choice between SRF, the cultivation of conventional annual agricultural crops and abstaining from cultivation (fallow land). The land use decisions are influenced by general economic determinants, such as market prices for wood and annual crops, and by site-dependent determinants, such as the environmental site quality. We found that the willingness to pay for SRF-based products and for annual crops most strongly influences the coverage of SRF in the landscape. SRF will in most cases be established on sites with low productivity. However, a decrease in the willingness to pay for annual crops will lead to a reallocation of SRF plantations to sites with higher productivity. Furthermore, our model results indicate that the impact of the distance to processing plants on farmers' decisions strongly depends on general economic determinants and the given spatial structure of the underlying natural landscape. Analysing the relative importance of different determinants of an SRF expansion, this study gives insights into the approach of using SRF to sustainably meet the growing wood demand. Moreover, these insights are taken as a starting point for the design of effective government interventions to promote SRF.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Schulze, J., Gawel, E., Nolzen, H., Weise, H., Frank, K. (2017):
The expansion of short rotation forestry: characterization of determinants with an agent-based land use model
GCB Bioenergy 9 (6), 1042 - 1056 10.1111/gcbb.12400