Soil carbon stocks and greenhouse gas emissions

Last changed: 08 November 2021
A transparent round container on grassland outdoors, photo.

Forest soils and wetlands in the temperate and boreal zone form globally important soil carbon stocks.

We conduct research on

  • Greenhouse gas emissions from forest soils and peatlands
  • Trend analyses of soil carbon stocks at different scales
  • Effects of forest management and/or land use change on soil carbon dynamics
  • Methodology for the international climate reporting to the UN climate convention and the Kyoto protoco

Field measurements

Measurements of carbon stocks as well as emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide are carried out within several projects. We study for example effects of tree-stump harvest and soil scarification on the soil carbon budget, or effects of ditching in peat soils on fluxes of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. We also monitor concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), an important transporter of metals, in soil water leachates.

Trends in soil carbon stocks

Soil carbon stocks vary in time and space. Forest management, land-use and changes in land-use, climate and the local conditions affect the soil carbon storage dynamics. We make assessments of the impacts of these drivers by combining information of field measurements, inventory data (Swedish Forest Soil Inventory) and process-oriented models. Process-oriented models are used to test different theories of coupled biological, chemical and physical processes and for predicting the possible impacts of climate change and/or land use change. The Formas strong research environment IMPRESS is an important platform for this research.

Methodology for the international climate reporting to the UN climate convention and the Kyoto protocol

We use as primary data source for the Swedish national climate reporting from forest soils the Swedish Forest Soil Inventory. We conduct research to refine and improve the climate reporting methodology for Sweden and participate in networks and projects aiming to harmonizing the methodology used within the internationally reporting system.


Associate Professor Johan Stendahl

Department of Soil and Environment, 018-673801