The interest in the use of energy of the forests has been increasing in recent decades. Biomass has the potential to provide a cost-effective and sustainable supply of renewable energy. Moreover, it could be valuable for reducing the severity of forest fires and create employment in extremely needy regions. This chapter brings to discuss the effect of forest management on the potential of energy provided by the woodlands. The authors selected as a case study the management of maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Ait.), an important softwood species in the southwest of Europe and, in particular, in Portugal where it represents around 22% of the forest area. A summary of traditional and new silvicultural guidelines for the species, used or proposed to be followed at the national level, is presented. The study follows with the evaluation of stand yield and the potential of energy associated with four alternative silvicultural guidelines. Two scenarios follow traditional standards (an initial density of 1100–1200 trees/ha), while the other two consider managing a high density stand (an initial density of 40,000 trees/ha). Simulations were performed with the ModisPinaster model. The results show that the new designs provide a considerable yield in terms of biomass and energy.
Part of the book: Forest Biomass
Maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Aiton) is a forest tree species with a high representation in southwestern European countries, in particular Portugal, Spain, and France. The species traits and their flexibility and plasticity are of importance both for timber and to the sustainability of the forest systems. Extensive research has been made on the maritime pine systems and productions. The aim of this study is to review the state-of-the art on the knowledge of the species, their forest systems, and their productions, to identify vulnerabilities and to summarize tools to help its management. The specific objectives of this review are: i) characterizing maritime pine, its distribution, genetic material and provenances, the biotic and abiotic disturbances, the diversity and sustainability of its forest systems; (ii) its management, encompassing the silvicultural systems and practices; (iii) to list existing growth models, simulators and decision support systems; and (iv) present information on wood technology, including sylvotechnology, wood properties, and their use.
Part of the book: Conifers