Understanding ecosystem services of boreal forests

The Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program’s Earth Observation Systems (EOS) group has continued their work on boreal forests. In 2015, improvements were made to the Terrestrial Ecosystem Full Verified Carbon Budget (FCA), including updating its ecological and economic aspects, and applying it to the ecosystems of Northern Eurasia.

© Arturkurjan | Dreamstime

© Arturkurjan | Dreamstime

Considering the FCA as a fuzzy system, a number of modules of the FCA (i.e., the development of hybrid land cover based on a multi-sensor remote sensing concept; assessment of emissions of volatile organic compounds, aerosols, wild fires, and biogenic disturbances) were substantially modified based on recent findings in these areas. Results obtained for Northern Eurasian forests were published in a number of high impacts journals [1][2][3][4] and as chapters in the Russian Governmental Second ROSHYDROMET Assessment Report on Climate Change and its Consequences. These findings are important for the development of adaptation and mitigation strategies in the high latitudes where the most dramatic global climate changes are expected (Figure 1). Using the current version of the FCA methodology, a reanalysis of the FCA for Russian terrestrial ecosystems is provided in order to assess uncertainty of Level 4 products of the Japanese Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite.

Figure 1. Major processes in the circumboreal forest (source: [1]).


[1] Gauthier S, Bernier P, Kuuluvainen T, Shvidenko AZ, Schepaschenko DG (2015). Boreal forest health and global change. Science, 349 (6250):819-822.

[2] Mukhortova L, Schepaschenko D, Shvidenko A, McCallum I, Kraxner F (2015). Soil contribution to carbon budget of Russian forests. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 200: 97-108.

[3] Schaphoff S, Reyer CPO, Schepaschenko D, Certen D, Shvidenko A (2015). Tamm Review: Observed and projected climate change impacts on Russia’s forests and its carbon balance. Forest Ecology and Management.

[4] Schepaschenko D, See L, Lesiv M, McCallum I, Fritz S, Salk C, Moltchanova E et al. (2015). Development of a global hybrid mask through the synergy of remote sensing, crowdsourcing and FAO statistics. Remote Sensing of Environment, 161: 208-220.

[5] Shvidenko A, Schepaschenko D, Kraxner F & Fritz S (2015). Full verified carbon account as a fuzzy system: An attempt to assess uncertainty. In Proceedings of the 4th International Workshop on Uncertainty in Atmospheric Emissions, Krakow, Poland, pp.1-8.


Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Canada

Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan

Institute of Forest, Russia

Northern Research Station, USDA Federal Forest Service, USA

Fiedrich-Schiller University, Germany

Laboratoire des Sciences du Climate et de l’Environment, France

System Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland

National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine, Ukraine

Korea University, Republic of Korea

Moscow State Forest University, Russia

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Last edited: 10 March 2016


Steffen Fritz

Program Director and Principal Research Scholar Strategic Initiatives Program

Principal Research Scholar Novel Data Ecosystems for Sustainability Research Group - Advancing Systems Analysis Program

Linda See

Principal Research Scholar Novel Data Ecosystems for Sustainability Research Group - Advancing Systems Analysis Program

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