Research papers

Thinning in black pine (Pinus nigra J.F.Arnold) forests: the economic sustainability of the wood-energy supply chain in a case study in Italy


Abstract


In Italy, black pine has been largely used in reforestation projects in the past. Most of these reforestations are characterized by a high instability, vulnerability, and a limited resistance to atmospheric agents. In this situation, it is crucial to define silvicultural interventions able to increase the ecological stability of black pine stands and at the same time to guarantee the economic sustainability of the wood products obtained. Thinning in black pine forests can provide wood material for energy use. The main aim of the present study was to investigate the economic sustainability of a local wood-energy supply chain applying three different forest management options. The case study was Monte Morello forest, a degraded black pine forest located in Central Italy. The results show that the long-term economic sustainability of the wood-energy supply chain is ensured only when the use of bio-fuel is characterized by high energy efficiency. In addition, the results show that public contributions are fundamental to ensure that silvicultural interventions are realized with a positive economic balance and that to surmount this situation many loggings companies are organizing. Finally, the results highlighted the importance of the quantities of thermal energy sold to ensure the economic and environmental efficiency of the wood-energy supply chain.


Keywords

renewable energy sources; reforestation; wood-energy supply chain; woodchips; bioeconomy; economic sustainability.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12899/asr-2142

References


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